Man who taped Romney's 47% comments speaks out

12:38 PM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
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Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

Washington-- The bartender did it, mystery solved.

A Florida man has come forward to say he secretly taped the video last year in which GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told donors that 47% of Americans are "dependent on the government" and "believe they are victims."

The man's name will be revealed Wednesday night in an MSNBC interview. The Huffington Post also interviewed the bartender several times and agreed not to disclose his name until after the TV appearance.

The secretly taped video was posted online by Mother Jones magazine in the fall, several months after the May fundraiser in Boca Raton where Romney spoke. The video created a national uproar, as President Obama and his Democratic allies used Romney's words to illustrate how the Republican was out of touch.

Obama defeated Romney in the election, and Romney ironically garnered about 47% of the vote.

The bartender, who worked for a catering company that was hired for the fundraising event, told MSNBC that he wanted people to hear the candidate and make their own judgments about his motivation.

"They guy was running for the presidency and these were his core beliefs. And I think everybody can judge whether that's appropriate or not or whether they believe the same way he does," the man told MSNBC. "I felt an obligation to expose the things he was saying."

The man is described by Huffington Post as living "paycheck to paycheck" and without health insurance, savings or a car. He said he agonized for weeks about what to do, fearful that the video could be traced back to him because of where he positioned the camera at the fundraising event.

A clip of the video was found online by James E. Carter IV, a grandson of former president Jimmy Carter, who traced the source of the tape and gave the full video to Mother Jones. President Obama met the younger Carter in Atlanta last month and thanked him for his role in the tape's wide distribution.

In his first post-election interview, Romney told Fox News last week that his videotaped comments were "unfortunate" and "very harmful."

"What I said is not what I believe," Romney said. "My whole life has been devoted to helping people, all of the people. ... But that hurt. There's no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign."

Romney speaks Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a high-profile gathering of activists held in a Washington suburb.

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