Update: February 22, 2013, 8:43 AM
Democratic opposition researcher James Carter on Thursday said the individual who recorded Mitt Romney making his infamous “47 percent” remarks at a Florida fundraiser was not a high-dollar donor.
It was Carter who unearthed the footage online during last year’s campaign, prompting him to reach out to the videographer before bringing the clips to the attention of David Corn of Mother Jones. Eschewing specific details, Carter told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the person — referred to by Carter as “Anne Onymous” — did not pay to be in attendance at the fundraiser, held in May in Boca Raton, Fla.
“Well, I can say that it wasn’t one of the people who had paid $50,000 to be there,” Carter said. “But I’m not going to say anything more than that.”
Carter spoke to TPM last week about meeting President Barack Obama for the first time at an event in Decatur, Ga. He said the President thanked him several times before they posed for a picture together. Carter’s cousin, a state senator in Georgia, alerted Obama of his role in the “47 percent” video.
“You know, I’ve been looking forward to meeting him for a long time. It was just great,” Carter said last week. “I was just kind of in a daze. He doesn’t seem real. I see him on video all the time, so it was just a strange thing to see him in person.”
The grandson of former President Jimmy Carter also told Blitzer he didn’t expect “47 percent” to emerge as a defining moment of the campaign.
“I hadn’t seen — I didn’t see the whole thing until after it — until after it was actually posted online by Mother Jones,” Carter, who runs an opposition and policy research firm in Atlanta, said Thursday. “But everything that I was doing at that point was trying to make some sort of a difference in the — in the campaign, and so I obviously hoped that everything that I found would make a difference. It ended up being way beyond my wildest dreams so.”
Corn penned a piece late last year for Mother Jones detailing his correspondence with Anne Onymous and chronicling how the bombshell scoop materialized.
This post has been updated.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.