The Corner

Mickey Kantor Does Not Hold the People of Indiana in the Highest Esteem

I’ve gotten a bunch of emails with a link to this clip on YouTube, a snippet of a scene from The War Room, the hagiographic documentary on the 1992 Clinton campaign team. In it, Mickey Kantor, one of the Clintons’ oldest friends and advisers, refers to the people of Indiana in some rather ugly, profane and uncomplimentary ways. From Hillary Clinton’s perspective, it’s not exactly a good thing to come out a few days before the Indiana primary.

If anyone has a longer version of the scene, I would like to see it; the clip ends pretty abruptly. By the way, the other interesting thing about the clip is that Kantor utters his uncomplimentary words to none other than War Room star George Stephanopoulos, who, as it happens, will be moderating Sen. Clinton’s appearance on ABC’s This Week in Indiana on Sunday.

UPDATE: Kantor spoke to the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein today. From Stein:

Mickey Kantor, who served as campaign chairman during Clinton’s 1992 run for the White House and says he has offered help and advice to Sen. Clinton, insisted that the tape was a fraud and that he was exploring legal steps against the individual who posted it online.

“I’ve never used that word [the n-word] in my entire life, ever, under any circumstance, ever,” an angry Kantor told The Huffington Post, citing his and his parent’s work fighting for civil rights. “I have listened to [the video] and so have you. You can’t tell what it is I’m saying in that second sentence, you can’t decipher that.”

I will agree that the n-word part in the second sentence is hard to make out on the video. But the “those people are s–t” part in the first sentence seems pretty clear.

UPDATE II: A longer clip of The War Room is here. The Kantor clip has been edited, but not in a way that changes anything, so he will need to explain what he meant by “Those people are s–t.” Kantor told Stein that “Indiana was not even on our radar screen, and I was talking about the polling and not the people…If you look at The War Room, this is not the way Carville or George interpreted my statement. This is frankly libelous.”

UPDATE III: Ben Smith of Politico talked to D.A. Pennebaker, who made The War Room:

“[Kantor] does not say that. He does not say that,” said Pennebaker, after viewing the clip.

He said the initial expletive referred to the anticipated reaction in the Bush White House to the fact that Ross Perot’s polling numbers were holding strong.

“What he says is he’s surprised Perot’s numbers are holding,” said Pennebaker in a brief phone interview. “He says they must be shi**ing in the White House.”

The second expletive, he said, appeared to have been entirely fabricated, with new audio dubbed onto the original movie.

UPDATE IV: After reviewing it again, I believe Kantor and Pennebaker. 


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