It was a video that many claim single-handedly dashed Mitt Romney’s presidential hopes forever. Scott Prouty, the man who recorded and subsequently released the tape to Mother Jones magazine, was the subject of an Ed Schultz exclusive interview last night. Prouty says he didn’t do it as a political move, but to let Americans know what Mitt Romney was really thinking. This is what Romney said:
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
According to Prouty, who was bartending at the private event at which Romney made the comments:
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.
Watch the video, courtesy of MSNBC: