The Atlantic Wire has pointed out that a number of news organizations are calling out MSNBC for its selective editing of the video clip from Mitt Romney’s Saturday speech in Pennsylvania in which he gushes about “Wawas.” The news organizations have taken issue with the fact that the video was edited so that the context of his improper pluralization of Wawa—and his subsequent awe at the state of modern ordering technology—was used to demonstrate a larger point about the efficiency of the private sector.
But, as the outlets have pointed out, that was all set up for a point about the wasteful government. Romney’s next words, unaired by MSNBC, were, “People in the private sector learn how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.” As The Atlantic‘s James Fallows noted, this followed a story about an optometrist who had to fill out a 33-page form to change his billing address. His point: ordering private sector sandwiches is easier than telling the government where to send your paychecks.
Some of the folks at the news organizations also point out that the mention of a 33-page form to change a billing address seems a bit hyperbolic.
As we noted Monday, even had Romney simply been expressing his delight over a sandwich ordering machine totally absent a point, this wouldn’t really be a “gaffe” worth anyone’s time. However, as Fallows and The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan both note, the extended remarks may move the moment from gaffe territory to truth-bending: Romney didn’t get in to too many details about which agency his optometrist was complaining about, but the United States Postal Service’s change of address form runs just one page [PDF].