Did Romney Cheat at the Debate?

Just the other day, Constant Comment and I were talking in comments about the infamous "Was George W. Bush wearing a wire at the debates?" scandal of 2004. Now it is being alleged that Mitt Romney pulled some shenanigans, too: Shaker Jewel sent the link to this video clip that shows Mitt Romney surreptitiously pulling something out of his jacket and putting it on the podium at the beginning of the debate, despite the fact that the rules prohibit the use of prepared notes.

Below are two stills I've pulled from the clip:

two screen caps: on the left, Romney reaching into his pants pocket; on the right, Romney lying a folded paper on the podium

On the left, Romney can be seen reaching into his front pants pocket as he walks behind the podium. On the right, he has pulled out what appears to be a folded paper and is setting it on the podium.

Team Romney insists it was just a handkerchief.

Obviously, I have no idea what it really is, although I'll say it wouldn't surprise me if it were prepared notes (or a handkerchief with prepared notes tucked inside, heh), and not just because Romney's evidently an unscrupulous d-bag who believes the rules don't apply to him. I noticed during the debate that he seemed to be delivering parts of his answers in a way that suggested prepared notes. He was glancing down a lot, and his delivery sounded less extemporaneous than at other times. But I was so busy clicking between Shakesville and Twitter and my email and texts on my phone that I was missing details of the debate, and my good faith assumption was that I'd simply missed Romney taking extensive notes.

But when I watched parts of the debate back the next day, I noted that he was looking at Obama with that awful sneer-grin most of the time, so I couldn't figure out when he'd written such precise copy.

Ha ha maybe that's because he hadn't!

Or maybe he just has allergies and mad debate skillz. Either way, he's a jerk.

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