Update 1:03 p.m.: Andrea Mitchell opened her show by noting that the RNC had reached out to point out that Romney "had more to say" -- a.k.a. a larger point about the Wawa sandwich machine. She then played the clip again, this time in full, then quickly moved on to discussing Romney's comments on immigration. It was a blink-and-you'll miss it mea culpa if we've seen one.
Outlets from New York to Politico are pointing out that a MSNBC clip that went viral on Monday showing Romney enthsiastically describe a sandwich-ordering machine at the Pennsylvania convenience store Wawa edited out the broader (though questionable) point he made about government inefficiency. Expect what was already a frivolous gaffe -- which should be offensive only to those with deep allegiance to the mid-Atlantic convenience chain -- to vanish from Romney's record of rich-guy remarks. The clip featured him saying:
I was at Wawas [sic] I wanted to order a sandwich. You press a little touch tone keypad, the sandwich comes, you touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, there's your sandwich. It's amazing!
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.
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].
MSNBC's clip is here:
And the full remarks Romney gave are here: