The man who videotaped 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney infamous comments about the "47 percent" has stepped out of the shadows.
He's bartender Scott Prouty, who was working last May at the Romney fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., when the candidate made comments that in September would come back to haunt him after Prouty's tape surfaced on the Internet. Romney came under withering fire from President Obama's campaign and other liberals for saying that 47 percent of voters would never support him and that they are those who are "dependent upon government ... believe that they are victims ... believe the government has a responsibility to care for them ... [and] pay no income tax."
On the openly liberal MSNBC Ed Show Wednesday night, Prouty said "I didn't go there with a grudge against Romney."
He did, though, go with the intention of recording Romney's remarks. "A lot of other people had brought cameras" as well, Prouty said.
Prouty also came to the fundraiser with a feeling about Romney based on a previous encounter. He told the liberal-leaning Huffington Post that "he had actually met Romney at a previous fundraiser, held months before."
"I handed him a diet Coke with lemon on it," Prouty told Huffington Post, "because I was told that that's what he drank. ... He took it and turned and didn't say anything. ... I presented him the exact right drink that he wanted ... Had it there, sitting there on a napkin. He took it out of my hand and turned his back without a 'thank you' or anything else. ... You can tell a lot about someone the way they take a drink from you. ... [Romney] took it and just turned his back."
About two weeks after the fundraiser, Prouty said, he decided he wanted to share the video. He's an admirer of liberal writer David Corn's reporting, and got in touch with someone who had done research for Corn — James Carter, a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. That led to the surfacing of the tape and the brouhaha over the "47 percent."
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