The bartender who recorded Mitt Romney’s infamous 47% remarks at a fundraising dinner during the presidential campaign has come out of the shadows to talk about the recording that changed the course of the 2012 campaign.
“How big a decision was it for you to release the tape and to go through all of this,” Ed asked the videographer, whose identity will be revealed on-air Wednesday.
“It was tough,” he said. “And I debated for a little while, but in the end I really felt it had to be put out. I felt I owed it to the people who couldn’t afford to be there themselves to hear what he really thought.”
He went on to say:
“I simply wanted [Romney's] words to go out. And everybody could make a judgement based on his words and his words alone. The 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. I felt an obligation to expose the things he was saying.”
“Has there been any time where you feared for your life?” Ed asked.
“I was up against the most powerful, the richest people in the country and the stakes were pretty high and you never know what could happen,” said the man who shot the 47% video. “There’s nuts out there. You just don’t know. I’ve certainly had threats.”
For his part, Romney celebrated his 66th birthday Tuesday and is expected to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) later in the week.
But no matter what Romney does for the rest of his public life, he will probably always be remembered for the 47% video secretly shot at a fundraising dinner in May 2012.
At the dinner, Romney said what he really thinks about 47% of Americans: They believe they are victims and they depend on the government. He also said it’s not his job to worry about these people:
“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, 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’s an entitlement. The government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49…he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. … My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5–10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”
Now, find out more about the mystery man and what role he thinks his video played in the campaign.