Last year, Scott Prouty changed the tide of the presidential election, but no one even knew he was—until now. Prouty is the man who secretly recorded, then presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney segregating 47 percent of voters, whom he said would side with President Obama, regardless of his policies.
Romney’s words were catastrophic to his image, which drove Prouty’s decision to film the statements. “[The 47% comment] was so diametrically opposed to what he was saying in public that I just said, I can’t let him get away with this,” he told HuffPost Live.
A bartender, living in Florida, Prouty filmed Romney at a $50,000-a plate, fundraiser in Boca Raton. He brought the camera in case the 65-year-old came back to take pictures with the staff. “I didn’t go there with a grudge against Romney,” he said in an interview with MSNBC. “I really had no idea he would say what he said.”
The two had another run-in at a separate event in which Prouty served Romney a Diet Coke, and was brushed off by the candidate. “He took it out of my hand and turned his back without a ‘thank you’ or anything else.”
For two weeks Prouty wrestled with whether or not he should release the tape, fearing many things, like being sued, since Florida law prohibits recording a person without their consent. He eventually settled on exposing Romney, researching the site Mother Jones, where he sent the footage, after posting a portion of it on another liberal website. He decided to release more of the video to add context to Romney’s words. “I went down the path and never looked back.”
In the recording Romney calls the “47 percent” dependent on government, further proving a viewpoint that drove public opinion of him being unable to relate to average voters. “The guy was running for the presidency and these were his core beliefs,” Prouty said. “And I think everybody can judge whether that’s appropriate or not or whether they believe the same way he does. I felt an obligation to expose the things he was saying.”
Prouty, is a registered Independent that tends to side Democratic. He expects to be “torn apart” by the conservative media for coming out of hiding.
Romney hasn’t commented on Prouty.