Mitt Romney collects his papers after the debate (Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages)
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 something 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?