At Wednesday's Republican presidential candidates' debate, sponsored by CNBC, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made one of the most embarrassing gaffes of the 2012 campaign when he started talking about the three federal agencies he would eliminate as president -- but could only name two of them.
The video has already gone viral, bringing further embarrassment to a campaign that has sunk from first place in the polls in September to single digits now. With sexual harassment allegations enveloping front-runner Herman Cain's campaign, Perry had hoped to make a comeback, but his brain freeze on live TV all but dashed that possibility. It was not just funny or cringe-worthy, but a potentially game-changing moment in the Republican race.
Yet, it is missing from the official CNBC transcript of the debate.
Missing Perry Gaffe: A CNBC Gaffe?
The transcript, which was posted on the CNBC Web site at 10:08 p.m. on Wednesday, almost immediately after the debate concluded, appears complete except for one section.
The missing section begins with Mitt Romney's We see what's happening in Italy on Page 17 of The New York Times' complete transcript and ends with Newt Gingrich's You deal with Social Security as a free-standing issue on Page 19. The bulk of the cut section, however, is the exchange between Perry, Paul and the moderators.
Some readers have already noticed. One commenter, philnotfil, posted on Thursday at 9:20 a.m., Interesting that the 'official' transcript doesn't include Perry forgetting the third federal agency he wants to cut. What else did they cut? Did they add anything? The job of the media, when reporting the news, is to report the news. An official transcript of what happened should contain what happened, nothing more and nothing less.
The transcript does include Perry finally saying, later in the debate, By the way, that was the Department of Energy I was reaching for a while ago. But it doesn't include the original exchange to which Perry's clarification referred.
CNBC did not immediately return a request for comment from the International Business Times made Monday morning.