The man behind the now infamous video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments has stepped forward to explain his motivations for recording the private fundraiser event last September.
Choosing not to have his identity published, the man who recorded the video confirmed that he was working as a bartender with the event’s catering staff, and had brought his camera in hopes of taking a picture with the GOP candidate.
The man had met former President Bill Clinton after a similar event, when Clinton came to personally thank the wait staff and other caterers. The bartender believed Romney might do the same, but the candidate left after speaking.
During Romney’s remarks, the bartender sat his camera on the bar to record. Though he never intended to release the tape, the startling nature of Romney’s rhetoric pushed him to action.
“I felt it was a civic duty. I couldn’t sleep after I watched it,” the bartender told The Huffington Post. “I felt like I had a duty to expose it.”
The comments made an immediate impact on the presidential race after they were published by Mother Jones. On the tape, Romney said that 47 percent of the American people were dependent on the government, believing they were victims entitled to government assistance, and would vote for Barack Obama “no matter what.”
Ironically, Romney eventually lost the election with 47 percent of the popular vote.
The bartender who released the tape will reveal his identity via interviews in the coming days, according to CBS News.
Romney became the latest target of hackers who have been posting personal and financial information of high-profile celebrities and politicians. Information allegedly about Romney and pro golfer Tiger Woods was posted online, just days after the financial data of 17 other well-known individuals was released.
The website listed an American Express credit card balance of $25,572 for Romney last month. The FBI and Los Angeles Police Department have said they are investigating the hackings, but have not identified any possible leads.