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Man Behind Romney's Infamous '47 Percent' Video Finally Reveals Himself on MSNBC

In this video framegrab from a May 17, 2012 video provided by Mother Jones Video, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser at a Florida fundraiser. Romney told donors that 47 percent of Americans don't pay taxes and believe they are entitled to extensive government support. "My job is not to worry about those people," he said.Credit: AP

WASHINGTON (AP/TheBlaze) -- The bartender working the private fundraiser where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made his comments about "47 percent" of Americans says he didn't make the secret recording as a political partisan.

In his first public interview, Scott Prouty tells MSNBC's Ed Schultz that he lost sleep and struggled for weeks before deciding to release the recording to the magazine Mother Jones. But Prouty says he thought it was important that people heard Romney and knew what he was really thinking.

In the video, Romney tells donors paying $50,000 apiece that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government, see themselves as victims and believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.

Romney's critics used the video to argue that he was out of touch with average Americans.

Prouty steadfastly maintains that his motives in recording the video were apolitical. However, his Twitter feeds -- AnneOnymous670 prior to the Ed Show taping, and ScottProuty now -- tell a different story. To begin with, the anonymous Twitter feed trades explicitly on Prouty's identity as the person who leaked the tape, to the point of featuring this image as its background:

Prouty's Tweets, meanwhile, evince a highly pro-union, anti-Republican viewpoint and, in some cases, anti-NRA viewpoint, even after the election. A quick sample follows:




What is more, Prouty relentlessly publicized the video himself under the Youtube handle "Romney Exposed," and also as Daily Kos blogger AnneOnymous670.

Prouty also reached out to Democratic opposition researcher James Carter about it, rather than sending it to reporters. The Huffington Post reports on this process:

But Prouty didn't wait for a reporter to find him.

He found James Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, who had discovered a talent for opposition research and finding gotcha videos deep in the C-Span archives. Prouty had followed Carter's work on YouTube. "He had good sense enough to follow me back when he saw my videos after I followed him," Prouty said. "Then he had the good sense enough to contact me after that."

Prouty said he wanted Carter to help him get in touch with Mother Jones' David Corn. He had been a big admirer of Corn's work -- especially his investigative pieces on Romney and the Hong Kong-based Global-Tech Appliances, a firm that sought to profit from U.S. outsourcing. He saw Corn on television all the time, he said. Maybe the veteran journalist could get his little film on the air. "They were picked," he said of Carter and Corn.

Now, Prouty regrets letting Corn take credit for the video, citing the reporter's outsize bragging about "uncovering" it, which Prouty sees as overzealous self-promotion.

"I sent it to [Corn] in regular mail, taped to a small, like, a little note card in an envelope," Prouty told the Huffington Post.

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