Watch CBS News

S. Fla. Bartender Behind Filming Of Romney's "47 Percent" Speech

HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) - The man who secretly recorded a Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" speech at a fundraiser in Boca Raton during the former governor's presidential campaign has finally revealed himself.

Hollywood resident Scott Prouty made his identity known on national television Wednesday night with an appearance on MSNBC's "The Ed Show".

The video, which went viral thanks to political website Mother Jones , made a substantial impact on Romney's campaign. In it, Gov. Romney describes the 47 percent of Americans as people who rely on the government to take care of them, rather than doing it themselves.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said in one clip. "All right – there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

Romney continued, "My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

On the TV appearance Wednesday night, Prouty describes himself as a "normal guy" who was just trying to do the right thing.

"I didn't go there with a grudge against Romney," he said. "I really had no idea he would say what he said."

After taking the video, Prouty seemed to struggle with what exactly to do with it. The footage was shot in May at the home of businessman Marc Leder, but didn't create a stir until September.

After wrestling with the decision, he decided it would be cowardly not to release the video.

"I went down the path and never looked back," said Prouty.

Prouty said he did not reveal himself before the election because he did not want to draw attention away from the video itself.

"I wanted Mitt Romney's words, and Mitt Romney's words only," to be the focus. Now, he said, he expects, "to be torn apart by the right-wing media."

Some say the video showed Romney was "out of touch" with working class people and severely derailed his campaign just two months before the election.

According to the Associated Press, Romney said the video clip where he called nearly half of Americans as victims was "not elegantly stated" and was "spoken off the cuff." But, he said President Obama's approach is "attractive to people who are not paying taxes."

Prouty said he is a registered Independent but tends to vote Democratic. He had no contact with the Obama campaign.

Watching the second presidential debate, in which Obama invoked the "47 percent" video in his final statement, Prouty cheered.

"I was thrilled that he hit him with it when he did," he said.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.