September 19th, 2012
12:49 PM ET
6 years ago

#missing2min: The Romney tapes' two missing minutes

(CNN) – The secretly recorded tapes of Mitt Romney speaking at a fund-raiser in May were released first in clips on Monday, and later in their full form on Tuesday.

At least what appeared to be their full form: David Corn, the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, the magazine that first posted the tapes, says "one to two minutes" of the fund-raiser were never captured, according to the person who recorded it.

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"The source says that recording inadvertently switched off in the middle of the fundraiser and that the source turned it back on as soon as s/he noticed this," Corn said Tuesday. "The source estimates that one to two minutes were missed, adding it might have been less time than that."

The video of Romney, which went viral and allowed Democrats to blast their rival as out of touch with struggling Americas, contained several nuggets from the GOP presidential nominee, including a remark that Americans dependent on government support were "victims," and comments casting doubt on the prospect for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The missing portion was not immediately apparent in the video posted on Mother Jones' website, since the full video was posted in two separate YouTube clips. The first ends with Romney discussing the "47% of the people who will vote for the president," and the second begins with Romney discussing trade with China.

Reaction online to the missing two minutes was both serious and irreverent.

Conservatives questioned why it was billed as the "full video" if a portion was missing. The Blaze, a website run by former Fox News host Glenn Beck, asked, "why did the video cut out at such a crucial part? Where is the missing video? And why is this being advertised as the 'uncut' footage?"

But on Twitter, reaction was lighter, with people filling in what they thought could be missing in the tapes.

CNN's Justin Lear contributed to this report.

Also see:

– Eastwood: If they were 'dumb enough to ask me…'

– In new tape, Romney casts doubt on peace in Israel

– Obama camp wastes no time highlighting Romney tapes

– Hatch might 'die before his term' ends, opponent charges

– Biden on Romney tape: 'words speak for themselves'

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    He probably said that he loved walking old ladies across the street.

    September 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. LynneSki

    Glenn Beck asked "why is this being advertised as the 'uncut' footage?" -- what a dork! cut footage = purposeful editing to make the video say what you want it to say..Uncut footage is when the person is everything I have, yes the video stopped in the middle, so here is part one and part two. Also, how does Glenn Beck know that the break was at "such a crucial part?" For all we know Romney could have been telling a fart joke during that time.

    September 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. paulbark

    Romney is probably thanking God that two minutes are missing. He certainly doesn't want any more of what he had to say to come out in public!!!

    Unless, during the two minutes, he said something like, "Ha ha. It's all a joke. I wasn't serious about anything I've said."

    September 19, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. LynneSki


    I'm a father and middle class... I like what he said throughout the tape. I'm glad someone finally said it.

    I hope your children are already over 26 yrs old and you aren't a veteran, and never become a retired Senior Citizen, or part of the working poor, or loose your home to a bank that let take out a loan while they were behaving badly.

    September 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. truth hurts

    >The secretly recorded tapes

    So has any news organization determined whether these tapes were made in violation of the law?

    So is it OK to bug private residences now???

    September 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. JDinHouston

    Nixon's old secretary accidentally deleted two minutes, nothing to worry about here.

    September 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    If I already said that then where is it?

    September 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. JM

    2 minutes or so missing at the most critical moment – typical liberal game playing. Goodness what a happy coincidence THAT is the exact moment the "recording inadvertently switched off in the middle of the fundraiser and that the source turned it back on as soon as s/he noticed this" Will wonders never cease. God God what a horrible bunch our politicians are – all of them – left and right.

    September 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. JM

    One other thing – James IV – ticked off at how Grandad is treated, poor guy. I wonder, if this was the grandson of GWB with a mysterious tape missing a few minutes catching a liberal mouthing off – picture the accusations against the grandson and the conspiracy theorists that his Grandpa was involved. None of that here though – all is well and good with this tape, from how it was obtained, disseminated and cut – all on the up and up for the mass of hypocrits that is, sadly, today's democratic party.

    September 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Videocams are required to record a maximum of 30 minutes per EU law. This restriction is imposed upon others, including the American market. Therefore, the camera will turn off, ususally after 29 minutes. The owner is often unaware of this time limitation.

    Regardless of whether or not 2 minutes is missing, that really means not much except that Romney might have said even more damaging things during that brief period.

    September 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    Maybe the person switched it off after the 47% remarks because they were so horrified that he would say such things, then switched it back on when he started saying even more alarming things about pretty much everyone.

    September 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Ex-GOP Con

    Unless those missing minutes are, "Im juuuuuuuuuuust kiiiiiiiiidddddddinnnnnng" doesn't matter. Beside, Rich Money has already admitted he meant every word of it.

    September 19, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Name

    I'm the middle class also and want to stay there. Obama2012

    September 19, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. T'sah From Virginia

    Maybe he talked about Snooki!!
    Maybe he explained why he put his dog on the top of his car!
    Maybe he was trying to ETCH out what he said two minutes ago!
    Maybe he said he will show his taxes to those who were in the room to show them how he got over!!
    Maybe he said he doesn't have to do anything if he should get elected 12,000,000 jobs would still get created
    Maybe he said, "dang, I wish I did not pick Paul Lyan!"
    Maybe he said President Obama is "really" not taking over seven hundred billion dollars from Medicare!
    Maybe he said, "I'll be back ya'll – gotta go pee!"
    Maybe he said "If today was my last day and tomorrow was too late, can I hold on to yesterday???"

    Obama 2012 – Because WE SAID SO!!! The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    September 19, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. truth hurts

    this recording was done in Boca Raton Florida and this is their law:

    Florida Wiretapping Law
    Florida's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. Florida makes it a crime to intercept or record a "wire, oral, or electronic communication" in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent. See Fla. Stat. ch. 934.03.

    So this recording WAS done illegally and the people or person who did it is subject to criminal as well as civil law. I hope Romney and Leder contact legal counsel to pursue whoever taped this illegally. Wire tapping somebody's private residence is something that should not be allowed to stand unchallenged.

    This "Mother Jones" web site and any other web site posting it should be sued as well since this knew this was an illegal video.

    September 19, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Semper Cogitatus

    Of course it was edited, that's how the game is played. It would be foolish to release anything unedited if editing it can increase the political advantage you think it gives.

    In this case though, it gives no political advantage. I irritates a bunch of folks that were not going to vote for him anyway, and gives the politically active folks on the left something to gripe to each other about, but is has no real effect on anything.

    September 19, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Michael

    Romney in the coffin all that is needed now is the burial.

    September 19, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    In the missing tape MR let's the audience know that he's being secretly taped and they should all play along.

    September 19, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. Rob

    Even if a few minutes is missing what is caught on tape is what matters. That puts him with evidence for what was said instead what someone claims he said. What if those few missing minutes is more of the same damaging talk? He could consider that a small blessing.

    September 19, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. tjbv

    It was Rosemary Woods' ghost.

    September 19, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. John The Electrician

    Will you vote for a box of hammers? Same as voting for Romney.

    September 19, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. UDidntBuildThat

    Gee of we can start taping peopple without their approval in secret, I would love to see that happen in the WH. Come one lets redistribute taping people w/o their knowledge. It obviously is not illegal.

    September 19, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. UDidntBuildThat

    I'm glad he said it. It is the truth and he should make the case for the moochers. U want scraps fr the govt or the dignity of a real job and ability to take care of your family bringing them out of poverty. It seems too late for majority of Americans. They would rather live off food stamps rather than take care of themselves.

    September 19, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. DENNA

    LOL Nice of Glen Beck to jump on that missing 2 minutes. Do you think RobMe said something kind? I don't think so. He does not or is not worried about 47% of the people who live in America because he has decided that they will vote for President Obama anyway, so who cares about them. He keeps saying he has a plan to bring America back, but won't say what that grand plan is. However, just vote for me and all will be well. This man's stupidity is absolutely stunning.

    September 19, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. GaryB

    Unless the missing chunk contained a segment where Mitt says somethng like... "Ha ha, just kidding. I know that most people who pay no income tax would gladly pay more income tax if the folks in the room just paid them a living wage." then it doesn't change the context of the two long stretches of video before and after.

    September 19, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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