Maybe He Didn’t

Update: All right, all right, maybe John McCain said “coursh” (as if “of course”) rather than “horseshit.” But that’s only because I’ve been told over and over that he said “coursh” — it’s the power of suggestion. Even if I still believe in my heart that he said “horseshit.”

Earlier today: Thanks to HE reader George Prager for spotting the portion of last night’s debate in which McCain said “horseshit” twice. I’ve listened to this MSNBC clip over ten times now and there doesn’t seem to be any question about it. The first “horseshit” happens at 4:31, Obama says “Spain is a NATO ally” and the second “horseshit” is spoken right on top of this, just before 4:33. I’ve recorded it and copied it four times in this mp3 clip, but the video sound — naturally, being a generation closer — is more distinct.
The “horseshit” observation originally came from Andrew Sullivan, who has since backed off and is allowing that McCain may have actually said “course not.” Listen to the clip again — the second syllable of McCain doesn’t have a “not” sound. The difference between “shit” and “not” is fairly distinct.

  • p.Vice

    That would be a great campaign slogan.
    McCain-Palin: HORSESHIT!

  • Krazy Eyes

    What was McCain’s original quote about Spain? I thought what Obama said in the debate was a pretty accurate portrayal of what I remember McCain saying.

  • gruver1

    Wells to Krazy Eyes: As the MSNBC clip makes clear, McCain didn’t raise the point about Spain — Obama did.

  • corey3rd

    Amazing how the pundits didn’t catch onto this gem when discussing McCain’s vulgar language and nasty temper.

  • Krazy Eyes

    I was referring to McCain’s original quote from a few months ago about not wanting to sit down with Spain from a while back. I thought what Obama said during the debate was pretty accurate to this original quote and thus makes McCain’s “horseshit” comment more baffling.

  • George Prager

    I got it from Andrew Sullivan, who now says it sounds like he’s saying “of course not” , but now he’s wavering, maybe he said it,.who knows?
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/horseshit.html

  • http://getmcneil.blogspot.com/ MickTravis

    And if you slow it down and play it backwards he says, “Turn me on, dead man!”

  • Pinko Punko

    Andrew Sullivan, master of the trivial and wrong. Except when he talks about torture, when he is correct. Too bad he spent 8 years enabling the obvious and despicable. Oh woops, mulligan!!!!!

  • George Prager

    “Too bad he spent 8 years enabling the obvious and despicable.”
    Wrong: Sullivan endorsed Kerry in ’04.

  • http://www.incontention.com Kristopher Tapley

    I can’t believe this made it this far. Obviously, McCain wouldn’t say “horseshit” on the air in a political debate. But moreover, it doesn’t even sound like “horseshit” in the audio. There’s a syllable in there before the “orse” sound. First thing I thought was “of course not,” and, thankfully, Sullivan has pulled back somewhat and admitted same.
    Jeez…

  • cinefan

    I turned the sound up and listened very closely and he definitely said horseshit. You can definitely hear the h before the orse sound if you listen closely.

  • Kristopher Tapley

    No way.

  • deadre

    this is important , if he says horseshit? who even cares if he ‘forgot’ Spain is an ally during a senior moment. What i don’t understand is how he intends to take on his party. Is he going to flip on all of those who vote him into office? That’s kind of what he’s saying or is just a total liar? Can someone please explain.

  • http://www.richardhuffman.com lazespud

    Ummm, Jeff, this isn’t even close to “Horseshit”. It’s pretty clear that he said “course not” or some approximation of that. I played it for a couple of people who didn’t know that you were claiming it said “horseshit” and their first thought was he was saying “course not”.

  • corey3rd

    McCain is notorious for saying horseshit. Don’t try to clean up the guy’s act. He cussed like a sailor. He spent most of the night doing his fake throat clearing to screw up the audio on Obama’s answers.

  • BurmaShave

    I think the reason McCain said horseshit/course not is because when he was asked that question a few weeks back he had no idea who the fuck they were talking about. Not that a candidate for President has to know who the Prime Minister of Spain is, but certainly the guy running on experience and knowledge does.

  • Craptastic

    I just listened to the original MSNBC audio/video on a professional Mackie Mixer with HR824 speakers and I can go either way. The factor that leads to this is that McCain speaks through this teeth, making it almost impossible to say for sure.
    The only thing that could help would be to take that split second of video footage before the camera cuts from a two shot to a song on Obama and slow it down to see if his mouth is creating an “H” sound.

  • televisiontears

    Does anyone really care if he said “horseshit” or not – other than late night comedy writers? This now has as many comments as the Jeff’s post about the actual debate. Oh well – I guess it’s kind of funny if he did.
    This reminds me of that episode of South Park where the entire country is transfixed by someone saying, “Uhh… you got some shit on your face” on TV.

  • Marcello

    I’m hearing “cocksucker.”

  • ZayTonday

    This is what Keith Olbermann said about this (who would jump at the chance to slam McCain for anything):
    “It was “course not, course not” — with his sibilant “s” it sounds like “coursh not, coursh not” — I heard it live, wearing an ear plug, and I have a pretty good ear.”

  • berkguru

    anybody else want to just slam McCain in his botoxed mug during that debate? guy is a focking scumbag

  • D.Z.

    George: “Wrong: Sullivan endorsed Kerry in ’04.”
    Given the mediocrity of Kerry’s campaign, Pinko’s not that far from the truth.

  • MDOC

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    Your comments are so refreshing and insightful. You truly have a grasp of the issues and have really brought something relevant to the table.
    I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to hear more from you, I feel like I should be paying to read it.

  • MDOC

    Just for the record, if McCain did say “Horseshit” is that good or bad? Or is it the kind of thing where if the guys on your side it’s fine but if he’s on the other it’s proof he’s unfit to lead.

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