Hutchison Campaign Accused of 'Selective Editing' ...

Posted: Sep 23, 2009 9:04 AM
The bitter campaign for Texas governor grew even more heated this week when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's campaign was accused of dirty campaign tactics, some are saying has become a pattern.

First it was the unquestionably bad use of hidden code words on the Hutchison campaign website, such as "Rick Perry Gay"  -- now the campaign has been caught posting a video edited to take out of context a recent speech made by Governor Rick Perry.

Here's the story.  Texas has been recognized as a guidepost for how to minimize the negative affects of the bad economy. Now,  according to an HIS Global Insight report, Texas is being heralded as the state to lead the recovery from the recession.

It’s a point Governor Perry has understandably been trying to highlight in remarks around the state.  But Perry may have made a mistake in talking up the recovery too much, when he said:

"Why is Texas recession-proof?” ... “Just today, I think, Michael, you said someone had put out a report that the first state coming out of the recession is going to be the state of Texas, and I said, ‘we’re in one?’

On the surface, this makes Perry appear out of touch.  The problem, though, is the video leaves out the part questioning if Texas is in a recession thus putting the remarks completely out of context.  As reported,

A spokesperson for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison confirmed that her campaign videotaped a speech by Gov. Rick Perry in Houston Thursday, and released [only] a section of video in which the Governor questioned whether Texas is in a recession.

Was it a dirty trick, or just a case of normal campaign protocol?  After all, everyone -- including bloggers -- edits for time and content. That’s the question liberal-leaning blogger Paul Burka of Texas Monthly posed, himself (read his full comments by clicking on the link):

The tape was unquestionably edited after “Are we in one?” to eliminate the words, “but seriously….” So the answer to the [question] “Is the Perry videotape a dirty trick?” is yes.

As KHOU also reported, state senator Dan Patrick, who was at the event, agreed the KBH campaign distorted the message intentionally:

“Don’t take ten seconds out of a 30 minute speech and say ‘that’s what he meant,’” Patrick said. “What he was saying tied into what he said earlier-- that we created more jobs in 2008 than all other states combined, that Caterpillar moved its headquarters here and that 1,500 people a day move to Texas. He was talking about how Texas is still in relatively better shape than almost any other state.”

Campaigns have been known for “selective editing” of opponents speeches, but one would not expect this type of mistake being made by a senator who has been in politics most of her adult life. It only goes to highlight the perception that her campaign is either in trouble or that one part of the staff doesn’t know what the other part is doing. Either way, this coming to light cannot be good for Senator Hutchison...