Entries in 47 Percent (4)


Filmer Behind Romney's '47 Percent' Video Goes Public

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney may have lost the presidency because he offended a bartender.

In his public debut on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, bartender Scott Prouty revealed that he filmed the famous “47 percent” video of Romney at a closed-door fundraiser in May 2012 and leaked it to Mother Jones magazine’s David Corn, who posted it in September.  It was a move, Prouty said, intended to capture the most attention possible.

Until now, Prouty’s identity has been hidden.  It’s been known that president Jimmy Carter’s grandson, James, facilitated the story, putting the unidentified, surreptitious filmer in contact with Corn.  It’s now known that Prouty contacted Carter after seeing Carter’s contributing byline on a Corn story about GlobalTech, the Chinese appliance manufacturer Romney mentioned at the fundraiser.

Prouty explained why he leaked the video.

“The people that were there [at the fundraiser], they paid $50,000 per person for dinner,” he told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz in an exclusive interview.

“You know, I grew up in a blue-collar area in Boston, and nobody I know can afford to pay $50,000 for dinner,” Prouty said.  “I just don’t know anybody that can do that and, in a way, I just felt like, if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, there’s a lot of people that can’t afford to pay $50,000 for one night, one dinner, and I felt an obligation for all the people who can’t afford to be there.”

Prouty, who worked on the catering staff at the Romney fundraiser, said he didn’t originally intend to leak the video when he began recording it.

“I had brought the camera, and a lot of other people brought cameras thinking that people would take pictures, like he did in the past, coming back with the staff and taking pictures,” he said.  “I was interested to hear what he had to say, but I didn’t go there with a grudge against Romney.”

But when Romney made his now-infamous “47 percent” remark, Prouty said, that’s when he made sure his camera was capturing it because he wanted everyone to hear Romney’s words, unvarnished.

Romney told donors that 47 percent of voters would chose Obama “no matter what” because they are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.  That that’s an entitlement.  And the government should give it to them.  And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax."

“My job is not to worry about those people,” Romney said.  “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Prouty, who described himself as a bartender who lives a comfortable life but struggles like everyone else, said the decision to leak the recording was daunting.

“Why am I gonna do this, why am I gonna risk everything?  Should I risk everything, should I put myself in jeopardy, should I put myself in legal jeopardy?” Prouty said he asked himself before handing the video over to Corn.

But he wanted voters -- particularly middle-class voters like himself -- to hear Romney’s private words and judge for themselves, Prouty told Schultz.

“Everybody needed to hear that,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Thanks Jimmy Carter's Grandson for '47 Percent' Tape

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has finally thanked Jimmy Carter’s grandson for helping him win the 2012 presidential election.

It was James Carter, grandson of the former president, who brought the now-famous “47 percent” tape to light, connecting Mother Jones columnist David Corn to the source who secretly filmed it at a Mitt Romney fundraiser.

When Obama was in Atlanta last week, he met James, the former president told CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight in a televised interview.

“When James went to meet President Obama, President Obama ran across the room, embraced him and thanked him profusely — first time, by the way,” Carter said.

“I don’t think he said winning the election, but thank you for helping me win the election — I don’t know exactly what the words were,” Carter said when Morgan asked if Obama had thanked James for winning him a return to the White House.

Later featured in TV ads, the tape became a staple of Democratic talking points. Democrats had already dogged Romney with accusations of an elitist class view, and the tape became a liability that Romney was unable to shake.

Video: Sept. 26: Romney Responds to ’47 Percent’ Comment

“I think it was the pivotal moment,” Carter said of the tape, acknowledging that his opinion of his grandson’s role in the election is, of course, biased. “It was something that he could not deny, and it stuck with him for the rest of the election, and I think it was a major factor if not the major factor.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Romney Says '47 Percent' Comment Was 'Completely Wrong'

JD Pooley/Getty Images(FISHERSVILLE, Va.) -- Mitt Romney for the first time characterized his comments during a fundraiser that were surreptitiously filmed and caught the candidate essentially writing off 47 percent of Americans as “completely wrong.”

“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you’re gonna say something that doesn’t come out right,” Romney said in an interview Thursday night with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.  “In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong.”

Romney went on to say that his life has shown he cares about “100 percent and that’s been demonstrated through my life and this whole campaign is about the 100 percent.”

“When I become president it will be about helping the 100 percent,” Romney told Hannity.

This is the first time Romney has described what he said in those leaked video tapes from a closed-press Florida fundraiser as “wrong.”

The night the videos emerged, Romney stood behind his statements, only going as far as to say that they had not been “elegantly” stated.

“It’s not elegantly stated let me put it that way I’m speaking off the cuff in response to a question,” Romney said last month.

Since then, Romney has sought to clarify that what he really meant was that he didn’t expect to garner the votes from 47 percent of Americans.  He went on in the video to describe the group as some who are overly dependent on government handouts and who consider themselves to be “victims.”

Romney’s 47 percent comment did not come up in the presidential debate earlier this week in Denver, despite advisers having said Romney was prepared for the question.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Talks '47 Percent' with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- While in Florida Thursday night, President Obama spent some time hobnobbing with 85 of his wealthiest supporters, including former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and Pearl Jam star Eddie Vedder.

One of the top talking points at the $20,000-per-head event:  Mitt Romney’s recent comments on the “47 percent.”

Vedder, who performed an acoustic set ahead of Obama’s remarks, cracked a birther joke as he traded his mandolin for a ukelele from Hawaii. “It has a little birth certificate in there,” he kidded.

He later offered a more serious reflection on politics of the day, presenting his personal story as an example of someone who was once among the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax and benefited from a government-funded job training program.

“It was that job which allowed me to keep affording guitars and microphones,” he said. “For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job.”

“It’s very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such an enormous amount of the population,” he said, referring to Romney.

Taking the stage after Vedder’s introduction, Obama said the singer’s story “captures better than anything what this campaign is about and what this country is about.”

Obama, who earlier in the day participated in a Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum, also directly addressed the 47 percent of Americans whom Romney disparaged in a recently released secret video.

“I don’t want their dreams constricted. And I also don’t want our kids to think that somehow success is reserved for them and that somehow half the country is locked out of that success,” he told the crowd of donors.

“I want everybody to be successful. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, able or disabled, and I want everybody to have a chance to success,” he said. “That’s what we’re fighting for in this election.”

The event, expected to raise north of $1.7 million for Obama’s re-election effort, according to figures provided by the Obama campaign, was held at the South Tampa home of Don Miggs and Lisa deBartolo, a daughter of the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Eddie DeBartolo Jr. Don Miggs is a singer-songwriter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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