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. imp

    Ummm, if there is something missing that changes what Romney's saying, then why isn't Romney denying what's on the tape? Heck, he's even doubling down on most of it!

    September 19, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. tor5

    I'd like to see Glenn Beck concoct the best possible thing Romney could have said that would have made up for calling half the country bums, even when most of them paid a higher rate in payroll taxes than Mitt himself paid. C'mon Republicans, tell us what Mitt MIGHT have said to make up for what he ACTUALLY said.

    September 19, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom

    We all heard Mitt say what he said! He even stand by his words! There is no excuse for insulting half of America's population!

    What is obvious is that Mitt does not have a heart, not an ounce of compassion! As a Catholic, I wonder where are the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops???? Why aren't they condemning Mitt for his utter lack of compassion for the least among us!


    September 19, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Geeze "truth..." Give it a rest. Mittens stand by his statements that were caught on tape. Take off you conspiracy cap for a bit. It's obviously screwed on too tightly...

    September 19, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Jerrold E. Fink

    Reminds me of the famous SNL parody of the Nixon tapes where "Nixon" and "Kissenger", et al. are heard off-tape agreeing that they would play a game and pretend to say the words that were ultimately heard on the tape.

    So what is missing here is that crucial part where Mr. Romney sets up the "joke" for his dinner guests by saying that what he is about to say or has said is not what he believes but only what his opponents ( and his supporters ) think he believes.

    September 19, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. allens

    does mitt say he will share his tax returns in any of the missing chunks?

    September 19, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. geggyg

    @truth hurts
    There is a big difference between being an invited/paying guest and recording what is said and a reporter secretly planting a bug and not being invited to the event .

    September 19, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. Sirned

    The most chilling words for me is when Romney said that the 47% feel entitled to food....I think David Corn is holding the worst of this tape for another day...

    September 19, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. NameCary

    Sometimes the truth is hard to accept. I'm glad he is honest enough to stand and double down on his comment. Most politicians are always going around in circles with their stories. Go for the facts and stand tall by your words. Love Romney for that. Wish more politicians were this simple and honest

    September 19, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  10. Joan in MS

    The missing 2 minutes probably contains Romney saying bad stuff about the other 52% of the population. (100% less 47% = 53% less the "one-percenters" that his policies favor = the remaining 52%.)

    September 19, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. MBW

    If there is any question in Romney's mind of why 47% of Americans do not pay Federal income taxes, he needs to read
    the latest Forbes article on the 400 richest Americans. These 400 individuals control 1/8th, thats 12.5% of the total
    U.S. economy. If 400 individuals control that much of the country's wealth, what is left for the botton 50%? Whenever
    Democrats talk of more taxes on upper income earners, the Republicans start talking about income redistribution and class warefare. But that is exactly what has been going on since the Reagan administration. Income and wealth has been concentrated in a smaller and wealthier group of individuals. The middle class is becoming less and less prosperous. And now Romney states that 47% of Americans only want a handout. Really? If this doesn't sound like class warfare, I couldn't describe it any better.

    September 19, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. RudyG

    Of course!! This is clever, CNN!! This is how you plan to keep the story alive!!
    Cover some Democratic news for a change, CNN, like what Obama and Clinton did when told their ambassador was in danger!!
    Oh, that's right, it's not Obama's fault. It's all Hillary's. Sorry, my bad. Obama shall not be held responsible for anything, regardless if the people who do the booboos are part of his staff. Sorry. Please forgive me. How dare I question the Divider in Chief's integrity!!

    September 19, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    Why do liberals hate working?

    September 19, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  14. Ron Rizzardi

    Perhaps it was the whole video of what was recorded.
    Maybe its two minutes of Romney retracting what he had already said.

    September 19, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  15. Paul

    A man murders five people. Only four of the murders are witnessed.

    By the logic of some conservatives on this board, that means he's not a murderer.

    September 19, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. Siara

    So what? He said the things he said.

    September 19, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  17. Reality for you


    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 |
    One could be all of the above and still make financially sound what's your point?
    Our family of five lived at or below poverty level for nearly 20 years but always paid our bills, ate healthy food, and launched our kids into reputable and prosperous work. I'm sure that it helped that we homeschooled our kids and didn't get caught up in the mindset of the politically correct (for which we thank God!). Thinking for yourself instead of believing the liberal hoax is the first step in the right pun intended, but it fits.

    September 19, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Funny that the Republicans defended the 13 minute gap in the Nixon tapes.

    September 19, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. badonkadonkette


    September 19, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  20. Alexandra Fiona Dixon

    Think for a minute about who likely took this video. The suspect pool is very small. It was either:

    – one of the paid attendees
    – a member of the host's family or staff
    – one of the outside staff hired to work the event

    My money is on outside staff. And since it appears that Anne Onymous is hyper-vigilant about not being identified, I suspect that AO was on that missing two minutes, perhaps serving the attendees, and took it out himself.

    September 19, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  21. Black Seven

    Kinda sad really. While the middle East burns all we can worry about is what Romney said. Look like the smoke and mirrors campaign worked again. The video was very conviently edited probably more than they want to admit. There is no need to defend his comments. The truth hurts doesn't it. Americans have become entitled and lazy welfare hogs. That is why so many will vote for Obama again. Why work for it when the Government can provide it for you while you curse at the rich.

    September 19, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  22. Larry L

    So I didn't hear what I heard and he didn't say what he said...? I'd better tune to Fox News and find out what I think.

    September 19, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  23. Rob in NH

    Believe In America (- 47%)

    September 19, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  24. enuff

    The interesting part is that none of the other video is edited AT ALL so their is no way they can say Romney didn't say exactly what is heard. Romney hasn't even denied it. This is just desperation to try and discredit something they can't.

    September 19, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. Hehe

    MAYBE its all a conspiracy to get us to talk about whats on the 2 minutes rather than what Romney said and how ridiculously douchey it sounded?

    September 19, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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