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It turns out that the person who recorded Mitt Romney’s now notorious comments at a private fundraiser cut out an admitted two minutes of Romney’s answer.

In response to Romney’s claim that the tape had been edited, David Corn of Mother Jones posted the “complete” audio and video in a tweet:

“Romney says we posted ‘snippets’ & not full answers in the secret videos. Uh . . . no. See for yourself. The full tape: motherjones.com/politics/2012/. . . .”

William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection did as requested and noticed that the tape jumped at exactly the critical point in Romney’s discussion. The cut is undeniable:

ROMNEY: “We do all these polls – I find it amazing. We poll all these people to see where you stand in the polls but 45 percent of the people vote for the Republicans and 48 or 49 …

tape cuts out, picks up with:

ROMNEY: “… about twice as much as China, not 10 times as much like is reported. And we have responsibility for the whole world, they’re only focused on one little area of the world, the South China Sea.”

Romney may well have been in the process of clarifying or softening his remarks. We may never know. When Jacobson emailed Corn asking for an explanation, here is what he got back from Corn:

“According to the source, the recording device inadvertently turned off. The source noticed this quickly and turned it back one. The source estimates that one to two minutes, maybe less, of recording was missed.”

The temptation is to compare the omission to Nixon secretary Rosemary Woods’ deletion of 18 minutes on one of the Watergate tapes. But there is a more proximate point of comparison.

Those who follow Team Obama’s history of concealment will recognize a trend. In the case of at least two other crucial issues, Obama’s proxies have used the “clerical errors” alibi to explain away some highly troubling data.

Obama and his supporters, for instance, have yet to provide an explanation for how he came to have a Social Security number that begins with the Connecticut prefix “042.”

Carole Gilbert, in the Yahoo-related “Associated Content,” contended that “Barack Obama’s dad attended college in Connecticut and in 1977, Obama was college aged; is it beyond reason to consider that he might have checked out his father’s alma mater?”

Last time I checked, Harvard was in Massachusetts. The closest town to Harvard in Connecticut is about 90 minutes away, and there is no record at all that Obama Sr. lived there, let alone that Obama visited his imaginary alma mater and just happened to apply for a Social Security card while visiting.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly finessed this claim. “[Obama's] father lived in Connecticut for several years,” O’Reilly said inaccurately on air last April. He added that “babies sometimes get numbers based on addresses provided by their parents.” Wrong again.

The left leaning fact-checking service Snopes.com concludes that “the most likely explanation” is a “simple clerical or typographical era.” Obama, they contend, lived in the Hawaii zip code of 96814 while the zip code for Danbury, Conn., is 06814.

In a vacuum, this explanation might fly, but Obama’s life is crowded with similar explanations. In May of this year, the reader will recall, Obama proxies used the clerical error alibi to rationalize a potentially damaging PR problem.

I refer here to the brief Obama bio in a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by his then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, that claimed Obama was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”

Falling on her sword, Miriam Goderich, now a named partner in Dystel & Goderich, immediately responded, “This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me – an agency assistant at the time.”

“There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii,” she continued. “I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.”

This confession rings false to the point of preposterous for any number of reasons. At the time, 1991, the Acton & Dystel agency listed 90 clients, Obama among its least significant.

How likely is it that Goderich would have remembered enough about a 1991 “error” to know it was hers, especially since it went uncorrected through several revisions until 2007. Besides, in my experience, authors always either write their own bios or proof them.

No, there is a pattern here. The major media will refuse to notice it, but it is long past time for our respectable conservative brethren to open their eyes.

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