Worker who taped Romney’s ’47 percent’ comment comes forward

Holly Bailey
National Correspondent
The Ticket

A lingering mystery from the 2012 presidential campaign is about to be solved: The worker who taped Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser saying that 47 percent of Americans are too dependent on government is finally coming forward.

While the man has still not been publicly identified, the Huffington Post reports it was a bartender working at the event who taped Romney. The man will give his first public interview to MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Wednesday night.

The bartender told the Huffington Post—which agreed to withhold his name until after the MSNBC appearance—that he had brought the camera to the event after working a previous fundraiser where former President Bill Clinton had posed for photos backstage with the staff. Thinking Romney might do the same, the bartender brought along his Canon camera.

But Romney, who was running late, did not speak to the staff. The bartender decided to tape the GOP candidate’s remarks, and he told MSNBC he debated whether to make it public. While Romney had told guests at the event that his remarks were off the record, he had not made the same admonition to those working at the event.

“In the end ... I felt I owed it to the people that couldn’t afford to be there themselves to hear what he really thought," the bartender tells MSNBC.

Romney's remarks were taped at a May 2012 fundraiser in Florida. In the video, made public by Mother Jones in September, Romney told supporters that backers of President Barack Obama are "victims" and dependent on the government.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said. "There are 47 percent 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.”

Romney later backed off his remarks—though he didn't quite apologize. He told reporters that his comments were "not elegantly stated."

The bartender's interview comes just days before Romney is set to make his first major speech since losing the presidential election. The former GOP nominee is scheduled to speak later this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.