UPDATE: Saturday, January 26, 2009. On that first, "raised taxes" whisper, if you turn your volume up really loud, you can hear what sounds like more of that whisper, continuing as Romney begins to speak. Sounds like the full whisper is "raised taxes, I'm not." The "I'm not" part of the whisper comes as Romney begins to speak, so it is not as easy to hear. If the whisper is in fact saying "raised taxes ... I'm not" then that cuts against the notion that it was someone whispering to Russert to help him finish his question - that would not make sense.
In MSNBC Florida debates, when Romney is asked a question about Ronald Reagan - "will you do for social security what Ronald Reagan did in 1983"- you can hear a voice whisper "raised taxes" and then Romney says "I'm not going to raise taxes, what I'm going to do ..."
Watch this video, and listen for the clearly audible whispering voice, telling Romney what to say:
While the above clip replays the "raised taxes" whisper several times, below is a version that plays more of the exchange between Romney and Russert, and it is all the more clear that Romney's entire answer revolves around the catch term "raise taxes," as in "I'm not going to raise taxes, " while Russert uses different language:
Some have speculated that the whisper is a prompt for Russert to add on the rest of the question, "raised taxes," to what Russert said about Reagan, but listen to how incredibly fast the whisper comes after Russert finishes his sentence. Seems mighty fast to have been someone trying to get Russert to finish the question - how does the whisperer know that Russert is done? It sounds much more like a prompt for Mitt.
[Added Saturday January 26, 2008] Additionally, if you turn your volume up really loud, you can hear what sounds like more of that "raised taxes" whisper, continuing as Romney begins to speak. Sounds like the full whisper is actually "raised taxes, I'm not." The "I'm not" part of the whisper is not as loud as the "raised taxes" part, and comes as Romney begins to speak, so it is not as easy to hear. If the whisper is in fact saying "raised taxes ... I'm not" then that cuts against the notion that it was someone whispering to Russert to help him finish his question - that would not make sense. It makes far more sense that it was meant for Romney, and Romney alone.
And now, an additional whisper has been discovered, this time when Romney is responding to Huckabee's question about why Romney supported and signed an "assault weapons" bill while Governor of Massachusetts and said he supported the federal assault weapons ban, and would have signed it's renewal, just as Bush would have (damn good question, by the way). Right in the middle of Romney's response, you can hear someone whisper what sounds like "support."
Here is the clip. Listen very carefully:
Did you hear that? The word "support" is whispered. Is that a prompt to Romney, picked up by his microphone, or is it another microphone picking up someone in the audience, or one of the moderators, as has been asserted by some people in response to the first whisper? Sounds to me like it is a yet another prompt to Romney. The whisper says support, and then Romney says support.
His defenders are decrying all of this as conspiracy theory, and dismiss it as nonsense, saying that it was someone else talking and not talking to Romney. I might have bought that for one whisper, but two? And both related directly to his answer? Come on! This is getting ridiculous.
And what is so outlandish about suspecting that one of the tools up on that stage is wired? Everyone up there (except for Ron Paul, who is his own man and thinks for himself during debates) has handlers telling them what to do and say at every turn. Why would it be such a shock if that was not just happening before the debate, but during the debate? Those men are nothing but mouthpieces anyway. But "they" don't want you to know that!
That the Romney doll puppet is thinking and speaking on his own is all part of the grand illusion, and it just spoils all the fun whenever you see the strings, the bulge in some puppet's back, or hear the whispered answer.
What a shame! It was such a realistic, convincing puppet show! The McCain doll, the Giuliani doll (which comes with a prom dress), the Huckster preacher doll -they almost looked real! That was amazing!
Politicians have long been called puppets, but most folks took that as a metaphor, not a literal description. Oh, we many, we happy many, we band of suckers, to live in such an age, when puppets walk the earth, talking, blinking their eyes, smiling, and turning their empty plastic heads just like real boys!
ADDED COMMENT ON THE LDS CHURCH (MORMONS) AND HOW SO MANY SUPPORT ROMNEY
An anonymous poster has accused me of insulting LDS church members by supposedly assuming that they "follow the leaders of the church like sheep."
So, I want to make a couple of things clear. First, I do not think LDS are mere sheep, who will follow whatever the church says. As another commenter pointed out (correcting my error), the Mormon church has issued a statement declaring its neutrality, so there is no command from the church for members to follow, even if they were so inclined. Even before I was clear on that, I knew not all Mormons support Romney.
There are many members who do not support Romney. I am a member of the LDS church myself, though I no longer attend, and I do not support Romney. I support Ron Paul. Further, I know a considerable number of very devout LDS who do not support Romney. Instead, they also support Ron Paul. They consider Romney a wolf in sheep's clothing sent to fool the church.
Watch this video to hear the thoughts on one very strong member of the LDS church, Joel Skousen, speaking to other church members, on why he does not support Romney and supports Ron Paul, and why:
LDS who who do not support Romney are very disappointed in how many LDS do support Romney, despite the fact that he is a big government fake conservative who has supported gun control, socialized medicine, and a host of other very non-conservative positions, and will continue the destruction of our Republic.
Those LDS who support Romney can point to nothing about Romney that would convince me that Romney will be any different than the big government, pro gun control Bush. As Mitt admitted in the debate, he signed a state version of the "assault weapons ban" and would have signed a federal version, just like Bush would have! So, Romney is as at least as soft on gun rights as Bush, and likely even worse! In fact, I see nothing in Romney that tells me he will be any better a defender of the Republic than Harry Reid has been.
One of the things I like most about LDS members is they tend to be staunch constitutionalists, and to have a real reverence for our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As such, it is all the more sad to see so many LDS not support Ron Paul, a man who is beyond a doubt the staunchest, most strict construction constitutionalist since Jefferson. Why do they forsake such a man of principle and devotion to the Constitution?
Part of the answer may be that like other conservatives, they have adopted the Bush Administration, standard GOP establishment views on the war in Iraq and the "war on terrorism" and just cannot see past their disagreement with Ron Paul on those issues. While I think such LDS are making a grave mistake in doing so, at least that is a reason based on a difference in sincere opinion on what is best for the nation (though still not adhering to the Constitution, in my opinion).
But the tremendous number of LDS who turned out for Romney in Nevada last week, along with what I have heard first hand from LDS members, tells me that foreign policy is not the reason for the support of Romney rather than Paul. For most of those who support Romney, it is simply because he is a member of the church and, for such people, that is all they seem to want to consider. What other reason could there be for the overwhelming numbers for Romney?
Thus, if Romney were not LDS, I think it very likely that Ron Paul would have won Nevada, and likely also Utah. Sadly, in a time when our Constitution is truly hanging by a thread, most LDS are ignoring a man who could throw it a lifeline and instead support a smiling fake conservative with a pair of scissors hidden behind his back.