John McCain’s campaign added a slew of videos to his YouTube page a couple of days ago, including a 16-second clip from an interview Barbara Walters did with Bill Clinton about who he thought would be the Democrats’ toughest competition in 2008. After Walters asks her question, the YouTube clip inserts a fade-to-black that clearly shows McCain’s camp edited the clip.
Here’s the transcript of the answer that aired on ABC. The parts that survived McCain’s editing are bolded.
CLINTON: I can’t tell, but I think that McCain has a lot of appeal, and I think that he seems to be making a little bit of a comeback. And we disagree on many things, but I think he’s, uh, a big figure. So he might be the most electable. I don’t know if he can be nominated.
It’s not surprising that McCain removed all doubt from Clinton’s response, but Clinton actually reiterated a message McCain’s campaign has been pushing recently: Once nominated, McCain is the only Republican who can beat the Democratic nominee. Of course, Clinton also touched on the caveat that McCain’s camp has tried to play down: He can only beat a Democrat if he can beat his fellow Republicans.