February 21st, 2013

James Carter to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Mitt Romney 47% video: “…it wasn’t one of the people who had paid $50,000 to be there.”

President Jimmy Carter’s grandson James Carter spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about his meeting with President Barack Obama and finding the Mitt Romney 47% video. Highlights from the interview are below; a full transcript will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sitroom.html  President Carter told CNN’s Piers Morgan, “When James went to meet President Obama, President Obama ran across the room, embraced him and thanked him profusely for his time….” Morgan’s interview with Pres. Carter will air on Piers Morgan Tonight in the 9 p.m. ET hour.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer”

Highlights from Full Interview:
BLITZER: Tell us about your meeting, first of all, with President Obama last week in Atlanta.

CARTER: Well, it was before the event, and I was in line to — you know, to have your — to shake hands and have your picture made with the president. There were several of us in line, and my cousin, Jason Carter, who’s a state senator here in Georgia, was in line ahead of me. And he, after he got his picture taken, told Obama that I was the one that had found the 47 percent tape and — so then Obama said, hey, great, get over here.

And then you know, kind of half embraced me, you know what I’m saying, put his arm around me and we shook hands and he thanked me for my support several times.
BLITZER: What else did he say, the president?

CARTER: Well, he thanked me for my support, and then I had my picture made, and then my wife, who was also in line, he called her in, and we had another picture made. And then afterwards, he talked to both of us and thanked us for our support and said, you know, now that I have a second term, we can make sure these kids get what they need.

And the event was an event about pre-K, and so, you know, he — he was definitely on message with the policy piece. And that’s the reason that I do what I do. So I was — I was gratified by that.

BLITZER: Walk us through how you came up with that tape? It was at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, at a hotel. How did you come up with that tape, where Romney spoke of that 47 percent?

CARTER: Well, I had been doing regular searches, I’m a researcher. And so I’d been researching videos and making sure that I knew all of the videos that were being posted online about Romney and some other Republicans. And I found a video that had just a piece of what ended up being 68-minute video. And I tracked down the person who had made it, who goes by Anonymous, and I introduced Anonymous to David Corn, and, you know, that’s how it got out.

BLITZER: David Corn from “Mother Jones” magazine. And they released it.

Can you tell us, was it a guest, was it a waiter, was it a busboy, was it somebody who was at — it was a closed-door meeting, obviously, the dinner.

CARTER: Well, I can say that it wasn’t one of the people who had paid $50,000 to be there. But I’m not going to say anything more than that.

BLITZER: All right. And did you realize when you got that tape to David Corn of “Mother Jones” magazine that it would have such a potentially pivotal impact in the election?

CARTER: No, I didn’t, actually. I hadn’t seen — I didn’t see the whole thing until after it — until after it was actually posted online by “Mother Jones.” 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.