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Monday, October 8, 2012

Did ABC News Intentionally Remove Mitt Romney's Opening Statement from its Transcript of the First Debate?

This was reported on - I did not write this, and I am posting this on my blog to pass along information. I think this is an interesting find, and I decided to "fact-check" the issue myself. Additionally, I think the questions the people at Breitbart ask are relevant.

First, the ABC transcript where the opening statements occured:

If you watched the debate Wednesday night, you remember that Obama had the first thing to say. His first lines were:

     - "Well, thank you very much, Jim, for this opportunity. I want to thank Governor Romney and the University of Denver for your hospitality.

There are a lot of points I want to make tonight, but the most important one is that 20 years ago I became the luckiest man on Earth because Michelle Obama agreed to marry me."

And the last lines of his opening statement were: 

     - "Now, it ultimately is going to be up to the voters -- to you -- which path we should take. Are we going to double on top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says America does best when the middle class does best? And I'm looking forward to having that debate."

According to the ABC transcript linked above, the next basic line in the debate was from moderator Jim Lehrer asking Romney for a response, and to that, ABC says Romney started the debate with:

     - "Well, sure. I'd like to clear up the record and go through it piece by piece.

First of all, I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don't have a tax cut of a scale that you're talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They'll do fine whether you're president or I am."

Wait, wait, wait a minute. Didn't Mitt Romney congratulate the president on his 20 year anniversary? Where was that? In fact, in case ABC News decides to change this, probably because of the excellent work done by the people at, I am posting a screenshot of their website showing this ridiculous omission: 

Click image for expanded view also does a great example of highlighting exactly what was removed from the transcript. It is too long to paste here. If you'd like to read it, please visit their site linked above.

Now that you have the "what happened" part, the most important question is "why?" I'm not going to give my take on this; I think it's important for readers to decide. poses three plausible issues as to why ABC removed this text from the official transcript:
  1. Romney’s humorous response to Obama’s anniversary story (which was a transparent attempt to give the public warm fuzzies) showed a warmth and genuine good-nature that reveled a side of Romney the media wants to hide.
  2. Romney’s capacity for distilling his argument to bullet points was incredibly effective.
  3. Romney took the time to become anecdotal, which shows he connects with people, and ABC doesn’t want that notion to go public either.

Us conservatives rail against the mainstream media with accusations of bias. Often, these accusations are hard to quantify (who is counting?) and qualify (how, why, and for what reason?). Yes, many of us will say that it's so blatant that the bias is impossible to miss. Yes, I believe the media is bias, and sites like to a great job at analyzing both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of this bias. With this example or ABC's "editing", I think it's very clear. Again, why would ABC do this? Yes, they removed 2 lines from Obama's opening statement, too... but the WHOLE beginning of what Romney said? This key part where he shows that key "human" side the press so loves to claim doesn't exist? Hmm.

And yes, for contrast, here is CNN's official transcript:

What are your thoughts about this matter? Please share them below.


  1. Plagiarism much?

    1. Where is there plagiarism? Did you not read this post? LME said "I did not write this" and he cited where he got the information.

    2. Hi Texas Tea

      I've decided to ignore the Anonymi... they seldom have anything intelligent OR useful to say anyhow.

  2. Hi LME

    I'm SO sick of the Lies: From Obama, his administration, his campaign 'people' and most of all - his lap-dog media shills!

    Stephanie cutter 'stipulates' the truth - but continues to perpetrate the lie.

    The $5T lie debunked by the SAME guy who did the study that Obama quotes!

    But... at his $25,000 a plate Hollyweird fundraiser, Sunday night, he's STILL pushing the SAME lie.

    Yesterday on twitter, I actually saw some of this garbage as it played out. Sickening! THIS - from the 'party of tolerance':

    Not listed here is a twitter pic of a woman, PROUDLY displaying a Romney sticker that she claims to have ripped off someone's car - accompanied by the one-finger-salute; numerous other photos of cars vandalized b/c they bore those stickers; numerous tweets of similar destruction of property of Romney supporters; a pic a young WHITE man took of HIMSELF, urinating on a Romney sign in his neighbor's yard! I've been around AWHILE and I've never seen such UGLINESS in a campaign.

    I'm certain there are Obama supporters out there who do NOT condone this stuff, but WHY don't they speak out against it? WHY doesn't Obama, his campaign people, HIS MEDIA??? What are we hearing from them? *crickets*

    Okay... end of rant : )