When a stylist handed Democrat Alex Sink a phone message sent from campaign staff at Monday's debate, Sink didn't seem to know what was going on at first. But a new video and transcript (see below***) from CNN indicates that the candidate at one point should have realized that the no-notes rule of the debate had been broken. And she didn't say anything at the time.
Sink said she read the message because she thought it could involve her daughter, who is studying abroad in Europe. But neither she nor her campaign could explain why an emergency message would be conveyed to the phone of makeup artists during a commercial break.
When the stylist approached Sink, she chatted with the candidate for a few moments, but the sound hasn't been released by CNN. The sound cues in as the woman offers Sink a grape or something to eat.
"There's this phone message,'' the woman says, noting it could be from "Brian.'' Sink: "I don't know.'' The stylist starts to say "they're saying you need to stand up,'' but she stops when a stage hand asks Sink if she's okay.
"Yeah,'' Sink says as he leaves. She turns her attention to the stylist and asks: "They're saying what?''
Stylist: "Stand up to them more.''
At that point, Scott had spied what was going on and sicced CNN political editor Mark Preston on Sink. "I'm sorry, did you just show the blackberry? I'm sorry,'' he says, bendidng over to pick up the Motorola Droid.
Said Sink: "Oh that's okay. It didn't have anything on it that was....'' She stops talking. Republicans said that was evidence of Sink realizing the rules had been broken and that she understood the message. Sink denied it Wednesday.
"I couldn't tell what it said. I didn't understand it,'' she said.
***Here's the transcript, as heard through a video posted by CNN and enhanced audio shared with the Herald/Times over the incident, which began at 19:27:28 on Monday:
MAKEUP: Do you want some food?
SINK: Uh, ooh...
MAKEUP: A grape? Anything?
SINK: No if I eat a grape - I won't have anything. I'm okay. Thanks though. If I eat a grape
MAKEUP: This is from...they said...(they both look down at device) I don't know who that's from, if its from Brian or...
SINK: I don't know.
MAKEUP: They're saying you need to stand up - MAN WALKS OVER: Are you okay?
SINK: Yeah. You want to give me a little more water? (Man walks away). They're saying what?
MAKEUP: Stand up to them more.
MARK PRESTON: I'm sorry, did you just show the blackberry? I'm sorry (bends over to pick it up)
MAKEUP: What's that?
SINK: Oh that's okay. It didn't have anything on it that was....