No, Mitt Romney Didn't Fail to Start a "Romney-Ryan" Chant

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 28 2012 1:21 PM

No, Mitt Romney Didn't Fail to Start a "Romney-Ryan" Chant

Earlier this week, MSNBC's Morning Joe panel was subjected to a video of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan rallying in Ohio. Nobody much cared about the original Romney clip. What went viral -- oy, that word -- was Joe Scarborough's reaction. The former Republican congressman, an arbiter of all things partisan and non-partisan, buried his head in his hands as Romney appeared to try, and fail, a "Romney-Ryan!" call and response.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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But The Blaze has been investigating the video, asking why people at the rally didn't seem to remember a lame Romney #fail.

“I … [was] near the front of the crowd and Paul Ryan had just finished speaking,” Michele Jewett of Carlisle, Ohio, told TheBlaze in an email.
“He introduced Governor Romney and handed the microphone to him. Gov. Romney said, ‘What about that Paul Ryan’ and the crowd immediately started chanting, ‘Romney, Romney‘ not ’Ryan, Ryan’ like the closed captioning on the MSNBC video stated,” she adds.
Indeed, the MSNBC closed captions claims the was crowd chanting “Ryan!“ when attendees say they were actually chanting ”Romney!” Obviously, this changes a lot about the situation. Instead of awkwardly inserting his name into what sounds like a failed chant, Gov. Romney was actually including his running mate in a crowd chant of his own name.

I'm an MSNBC contributor, but I'm not speaking on anyone's behalf when I say: Yeah, what happened? I've asked, and I'll post any response that I get. But my milquetoast theory is this: Video ain't perfect, and the mics didn't pick up the crowd noise. See if you recognize this video.

Wait, no, you've probably seen the video from this angle.

 

If you miked the crowd you heard people screaming along with Dean, egging him on from state to state. No crowd noise, and he sounded like a crazy person. I'm blaming the same audio issue here. Romney had an excited crowd, it didn't come across on video, and the current, rote "lame Romney" narrative led people to mock him without checking other angles and audios.

UPDATE: A statement from the show:

This story is an attempt to generate a false controversy. The tape clip was untouched and was played as it was recorded. The panel was responding to Romney's playful response and having fun with it. Joe and the gang apologize for making people laugh in the morning.

Should've said, the conspiracy theory du jour is that the network actually doctored the tape to make Romney sound worse. But it looks like a pure sound issue.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.