Opinion: Upon Further Review: Mitt Romney May Have Cheated To Win The Debate

The Buck Starts Here

Over the past day the game tape of the debate has been reviewed. While Mitt Romney still enjoys the afterglow of the debate, the lies and half truths he told are being dissected.

From tax policy to hiring teachers. From cracking down on Wall Street (and Sesame Street) to coverage for the uninsured. From Medicare to shipping jobs overseas the fact checkers have been very busy correcting the record and pointing out falsehoods.

Even Team Romney had to correct the candidate on health care immediately after the debate.

As I predicted earlier this week, Romney had an October Surprise planned for the President – new policy ideas. But I had no idea that Romney would just lie about everything he had said over the past year and a half.

As the President said, Mitt Romney’s bright new idea is: Never Mind!

But there was a moment in the debate that will be discussed in the days ahead that everyone missed until yesterday.

A review of the debate tape reveals that, apparently, Mitt Romney needed a cheat sheet to keep the lies straight.

The rules of the presidential debates are clear about not bringing outside notes and presidents and aspirants have followed the rule for decades.

Video of the first eleven seconds of the debate available on YouTube shows Mitt Romney reaching into his pocket at the moment he is out of view of those in front of him, he used the lectern as a shield, and removing what appears to be folded papers from his pocket.

We see this because the camera that was broadcasting was behind Romney. Those in the audience and the moderator may have been shielded from his sleight of hand, but not the viewers.

Romney then proceeds to unfold the item in front of him.

For those curious if it could have been some else, later video sheds some light on what Romney retrieves from his lectern.

After the Romney and Obama families chat post-debate the President walks off stage, leaving his notes behind for an aide, no doubt.

But not so for Romney. The Presidential challenger goes back to his lectern to retrieve his items. It is clear that the only thing that Romney takes is paper. Not a handkerchief. Not a white flag. Nothing but paper.

So the next question is: what is Mitt Romney’s explanation for the apparent cheating?


The evidence seems to indicate it was a handkerchief. So there you have it folks. The mystery seems to have been solved.

But ye olde Mitt Romney saying, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, doesn’t seem to hold true for news aggregator that just this week promoted a five year old story that was covered five years ago — and was not a story.

I have no desire to be part of the peddlers of conspiracy and falsehoods like the birthers or the truthers.

I did write an essay pointing out that there were questions that should be asked and that there was suspicious behavior on the part of Mitt Romney.

Those questions have been put to rest. Honestly, I do not know a person that carries a cloth rag in their pocket when they have a runny nose — it is a little gross.

It doesn’t change the fact that it is incredibly stupid to walk into a Presidential debate and sneak something from your pocket. There is advance staff to take care of tissues.

It also doesn’t change the fact that Romney distorted his campaign proposals and presented a very different version of Mitt Romney than the one that has been running for President for more than half a decade.

So it seems that Mitt Romney did indeed memorize his lies rather than bring a laundry list of them with him. And he carries a hanky.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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