verrilli we roll along

Republican Ad Uses Doctored Audio to Slam Obamacare

Attorney Donald Verrilli speaks to the media in front of the US Supreme Court.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli can form complete sentences. Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

We all agree that Solicitor General Donald Verrilli had a few enunciation problems at the beginning of his defense of the individual mandate at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. What’s much less clear is whether they actually mattered to the substance of the case.

Regardless, the few stammering soundbites didn’t sound great. But, as Bloomberg reports, the Republican National Committee took it upon themselves to make them sound even worse. In a new spot, Verrilli stutters over a somber title-card, ending with the phrase “Obamacare: It’s a Tough Sell.” But the audio is cut, looped, and reordered to make the solicitor general sound downright bewildered. Classy.

Bloomberg reviewed the actual SCOTUS transcript and recordings, and here’s what they found:

A review of a transcript and recordings of those moments shows that Verrilli took a sip of water just once, paused for a much briefer period, and completed his thought, rather than stuttering and trailing off as heard in the doctored version.

The twenty-second pause in the middle of Verrilli’s “argument” never actually happened. But, then again, why let the facts get in the way of a good spot