NEWS

Man who leaked Romney's '47 per cent' video speaks out

03/13/2013 01:12 EDT | Updated 05/13/2013 05:12 EDT
The man who recorded former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney's infamous '47 per cent' comments is speaking out for the first time since the video helped derail Romney's election campaign.

MSNBC is promoting an interview Wednesday night with "the man who showed the world the real Mitt Romney," and The Huffington Post is reporting the man was a bartender who surreptitiously recorded Romney's comments. Both organizations are withholding the man's full identity until the MSNBC broadcast.

The Romney video, released about six weeks before President Barack Obama's re-election, was recorded at a fundraising dinner where Romney told wealthy donors that almost half of Americans "believe they are victims" entitled to extensive government support.

Romney appeared to write off 47 per cent of the American electorate as dependent on the government because they do not pay federal income tax. "There are 47 per cent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," he said. "My job is not to worry about those people."

Romney's campaign was hit hard by the secretly taped remarks, slipping behind Obama in some of the key battleground states as critics slammed the multi-millionaire as being out of touch with average Americans.

Romney backtracked a couple of weeks later: "Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right," Romney said in early October. "In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong."

The Huffington Post says the man recorded Romney with a Canon camera placed on his bar. He had brought a camera in case he had the opportunity to get a picture with the presidential candidate, the site reported.

"I couldn't sleep after I watched it," he reportedly said. "I felt like I had a duty to expose it."

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