From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
EDITOR'S NOTE: There has been a lot of confusion over a whispered moment from last night's debate -- someone saying what we believe was "not raise taxes" after a question from Tim Russert on Reagan and social security. We put the following post up last night immediately following what we and several First Read commenters heard.
For full disclosure, the way it works for us when we're liveblogging is our contributors, who are either on site at the location or in D.C. or elsewhere, will usually send me posts via e-mail. While I am watching the debate, I read the dispatches, post if applicable after quickly editing and put up my own thoughts. Regular e-mail questions get mixed in sometimes. I put this one up, but when I did, Lauren Appelbaum wrote me and said it was not necessarily intended to be a post but actually just a question to me if I knew who made the "taxes" comment. Being in South Carolina, following the Democrats for their primary and not on site in Florida, I didn't know. We thought it might have simply been our control room cueing a question, which then didn't seem to warrant a post, since that would be very inside baseball. So, I took it down.
After some of the confusion today, we are putting it back up for those that haven't seen it. As far as figuring out the mystery of who or where it came from, that is being worked on, and we hope to have an answer soon. It puzzled us here too, and we're looking through tape of other candidates to see if it was one of them. We'll let you know. Here's the original post:
The taxes whisper
From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum and NBC/NJ's Erin McPike
After Russert asked Romney the question on Reagan -- "Will you do for social security what Ronald Reagan did in 1983?" -- there is an audible statement in just one channel of audio saying "not raise taxes."
Then Romney says "I'm not going to raise taxes…"
First Read commenters also noticed this -- where did this come from?
*** UPDATE *** After reviewing the tapes, NBC determined that an open mic picked up a whisper from the audience. It is unclear who it is that says it, but it was not said by any of the candidates, was not heard in the hall and, more importantly, not heard by the candidates.