After a pleasant, productive day, I was winding down by watching the TV interview with Scott Prouty, the guy who shot the “47 percent” video that pretty much changed the course of the 2012 election by revealing the real Mitt Romney.
I was impressed — he is smart and articulate and self-effacing. He presents himself as a typical American — a hard-working member of the middle class. Not wishing to harm his employer or his fellow workers, he says he thought long and hard before releasing the video. He knew he could easily lose his job, a serious blow for anyone, and especially for him, since he lived month-to-month, with modest savings and no health insurance.
But after debating with himself for two weeks, he looked in the mirror and saw a coward. He decided he had to do what he knew was the right thing.
Prouty says he had no agenda when he made the video. He was bartending at a 50,000-dollar-a-plate fund raiser for Mitt Romney and hoped to take pictures with him afterwards. He knew Bill Clinton had stayed to schmooze and take pictures with the staff after an affair, so he’d taken his camera expecting Romney to do the same. Not.
Instead, Prouty, a registered independent voter, heard Romney speak to the private party of wealthy donors, saying things he’d never said in his stump speech or on public occasions. What Prouty heard was so disturbing that he felt voters who couldn’t afford to pay $50,000 for dinner with Romney should be able to know what he said.
Prouty has stayed in the shadows until now. Before the election, he didn’t want the story to be about him, to deflect attention away from Romney and his revealing remarks. He says he’s been offered lucrative opportunities to speak, but refused them all, because he didn’t want to give the Rush Limbaughs of the world a reason to impugn his motives. He had no contact with the Obama campaign, but he felt gratified when Obama mentioned the 47 percent in his closer for the second debate.