Beware of campaign videos that chop off an opponent, mid-speech.
Democrats are going hog wild on a speech Tom Corbett gave to Republican supporters in Delaware County yesterday, saying it shows he advocates suppressing the vote in Philadelphia. They issued the video above, in which Corbett says:
"I saw today that the Governor said yesterday that Bob Brady should resign as chairman of the Democratic committee of Philadelphia if he doesn't get 50% turnout. . .
I don't think he's going to get 50%. But we want to make sure that they don't get 50%.
Keep that down."
In a statement, Onorato's spokesman Brian Herman said, "The Attorney General's job is to protect our right to vote and make sure that every vote counts, so why is Tom Corbett instead telling his Republican activists to 'keep' the vote down in the City of Philadelphia?" The campaign also called a 2:15 p.m. news conference in Philly today with Mayor Michael Nutter, to "discuss Tom Corbett's plans to suppress voters in Philadelphia."
If you watch the full video -- posted on the Delaware County Daily Times website -- the Attorney General is a lot more magnanimous about Democrats, going on to exhort his GOP supporters to seek out Democratic votes:
"We want 100%. All across the state.
If I'm going to get elected we can't have only Republicans. We have to have Democrats, we have to have independents. So I'm going to ask you to go out there and work hard on getting those individuals to come out and vote."
Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said the Republican's campaign of course "wants more people to vote for us than for him," but denied any effort to suppress the Democrat-rich vote in Philadelphia. "We have a very, very aggressive get-out-the-vote effort in Philadelphia," Harley said.
Herman stuck by the Onorato camp's assertions that "Keep that down" signaled a voter-suppression effort in Philly, and said Corbett's later comments were about voters elsewhere.
"He urged them to 'keep down' the vote. That sounds like voter suppression to me," Herman said. "What else can it possibly mean?"
UPDATE: The Onorato camp has since issued a full version of the Corbett speech, with more from the Democrat's spokesman insisting the AG advocates voter-suppression:
"Corbett is clearly talking about turnout among Democratic voters (the "they" in his sentence); there is no other way to interpret his statement. He says his goal is to "make sure that they don't get 50%." Then he goes on to say, "keep that down," which clearly implies some sort of active effort to ensure Philly turnout does not reach 50%.
Subsequently he says that "WE want to get 100% all across the state", clearly expressing his own desire to win. In no way does Corbett contradict or even qualify his expressed desire to "keep that down" in Philadelphia and "make sure that they don't get 50%."
The context and meaning of Corbett's comments are clear."