Houston’s KHOU broke the story. A commenter sent the audiotape, which I listened to. Here is what I heard on the audiotape. After Perry asks, “Are we in one?” — referring to a recession — and the laughter, Perry says: But seriously, the fact is that because we have positioned ourselves so well economically, we’re going to be the first state that starts showing that major recovery, and the rest of the states will follow [behind us? beside us?] whenever that is going to be. The tape was unquestionably edited after “Are we in one?” to eliminate the words, “but seriously….” So the answer to the headline of my first post on this subject, “Is the Perry videotape a dirty trick?” is yes. Here is the situation as I see it. Perry: He committed a gaffe. He made a joke about the recession that revealed, as I wrote at the time, arrogance and callousness. Hutchison: Her campaign is now making the charge that Perry really didn’t know that there is a recession. This won’t stick. Perry’s discussion of a recovery is itself an acknowledgment that Texas is in a recession. To sum up: Perry made a mistake. Point to Team Hutchison. Team Hutchison cheated. Point taken away from Team Hutchison. I think that the memory of the joke will be longer lasting than the memory of the mendacious editing.
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