Former President Jimmy Carter said on Thursday that the clandestine recording of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney saying that 47 percent of Americans believed they were victims solidified President Barack Obama’s reelection in November.
“It was the pivotal moment. I believe it was,” Carter told CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview. “It was something he could not deny — and it stuck with him for the rest of the election. And I think it was a major factor, if not the major factor.”
When Morgan surmised, “ … So, Carter won Obama the election?” the former Democratic president responded with laughter: “I think so. That is kind of a prejudiced statement.”
Romney made the comments at a private fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., on May 17, after the former Massachusetts governor had effectively won the GOP nomination.
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The $50,000-a-plate event had about 100 people in attendance and was held at held at the home of private-equity executive Marc Leder.
In the video, the fundraiser appears to be a small, intimate gathering.
An excerpt of the tape was found by Carter’s grandson, James Carter IV, an opposition researcher who said on Twitter at the time that he was unemployed.
The younger Carter located the source of the tape — he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday that originator was named “Anonymous” — and he then put that individual in touch with Mother Jones Washington bureau chief, David Corn.
The magazine, which had said small clips from the event had been on the Internet for months, published its report in September.
The younger Carter, who told CNN that Obama thanked him for his help last week before a speech in Atlanta, declined to identify the source of the tape.
“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,” he said.
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