The man behind the infamous ‘47 percent’ tape — one of many Romney gaffes during the 2012 presidential election — was none other than former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson.
The video was a pivotal blow to the Romney campaign during the election, so when Obama met James Carter last week at post-State of the Union visit in Atlanta, the president expressed his gratitude for James’ efforts.
James attended the event with his cousin, Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter, who was the one to tell Obama about James’ role in the circulation of the video.
"After (Jason) got his picture taken, he told Obama that I was the one that had found the 47% tape," James Carter said on CNN's "The Situation Room."
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"Then Obama said, 'Hey, great, get over here.' And then he kind of half-embraced me, I want to say, put his arm around me, and we shook hands. He thanked me for my support, several times," he said.
James worked as an opposition researcher during the campaign and told CNN that he had found the video online, and then put the person who filmed it in touch with a writer from Mother Jones, a leftist magazine. Mother Jones then leaked the video, which was when that national spotlight turned on Romney and his degrading comments to the 47 percent of Americans who receive some sort of assistance from the government.
"There are 47% of people who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you-name-it," Romney said on the tape.
During his campaign, Romney was a proponent of cutting entitlement programs (except for social security, of course, because that’s where the votes are) such as student financial aid, food stamps and Medicare.
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James did not think the video would catch on as much as it did.
"I obviously hoped that everything that I found would make a difference," he said. "It ended up being way beyond my wildest dreams."
James’ grandfather, former president Jimmy Carter, said in an interview with Piers Morgan he was proud of his grandson’s efforts, bragging that he helped bring about that ‘pivotal moment’ of the campaign that led to Romney’s downfall.
"It was something (Romney) could not deny and it stuck with him for the rest of the election and I think it was a major factor, if not the major factor," the former president said.
"Carter won Obama the election," Morgan joked.