Jim Lehrer: You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down…
Mitt Romney: What desert?
Lehrer: It doesn’t make any difference what desert, it’s completely hypothetical. You look down and see a tortoise, Mitt. It’s crawling toward you…
Romney: Tortoise? What’s that?
Lehrer: [irritated by Mitt’s interruptions] You know what a turtle is? Same thing.
Romney: I’ve never seen a turtle… But I understand what you mean.
Lehrer: You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Mitt.
Romney: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Lehrer? Or do they write ‘em down for you?
Lehrer: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping.
Romney: [angry at the suggestion] What do you mean, I’m not helping?
Lehrer: I mean: you’re not helping! Why is that, Mitt?
[Mitt has become visibly shaken]
Lehrer: They’re just questions, Mitt. In answer to your query, they’re written down for me. It’s a debate, designed to judge your competency for the presidency… Shall we continue?
Lehrer: Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about… your gardener.