The Mitt Romney campaign has shot down a semi-popular online conspiracy theory alleging that the GOP hopeful’s edge during Wednesday’s debate was all thanks to a “crib sheet” he managed to smuggle onto the stage. The campaign response? It was a handkerchief.
Reddit and the liberal blog Daily Kos have arguably given this theory the most press thus far today, with the latter writing and constantly updating a post that details the ins-and-outs of the conspiracy before ultimately settling on careful suspicion. In case you’re not aware, the CPD (which sets the rules for the presidential debates) allows each candidate nothing outside of a pen and a blank pad of paper. As Kos puts it, the debates are not “open book.” So, if Mitt Romney had somehow cheated by smuggling in a crib sheet, it would be a major violation and an extraordinarily unfair advantage over President Obama, his unwitting opponent.
There is indeed a brief moment during the debate (watch it below) where Mitt Romney pulls something out of his pocket and sets it on the podium.
“Yes it could be a hanky. But it falls kind of heavy, and stays uniform in it’s fold. Plus it is flat. I have never seen a man’s hanky be so uniform and flat coming from a front pant’s pocket. Back pocket, yes, breast pocket in a jacket, yes.. but not the front pant pocket,” argues the Kos.
So is it a crib sheet? “It’s a handkerchief,” a Romney campaign aide said simply in response to the post.
Well, of course, he’s a Romney aide; he’s supposed to say that.
Oh, wait, there’s Romney using a handkerchief during the debate. BuzzFeed even made a GIF.
Additionally, a forensic video analyst spoke to US News on the condition of anonymity, saying: “The size, thickness, and overall dimensionality when he first walks up to the podium is consistent with a handkerchief, and not with a single note card,” continuing, “The elemental movement and mechanics [later on in the video] also suggest it’s absolutely a handkerchief he picks up around his face.”
The Romney crib sheet is definitely one of the more interesting theories stemming from the surprise upset Wednesday night. It just doesn’t seem terribly likely to be true.
Then again, if that was a crib sheet and Mitt Romney is a dirty, dirty cheater, we’ll be back to report on it.