Updated at 5:30 p.m. with link to WABE (90.1FM) interview:
One of the most ironic notes of the 2012 presidential campaign was sounded last night when a video surfaced — courtesy of liberal magazine Mother Jones – in which Republican nominee Mitt Romney told a group of California fundraisers that he considered nearly half of all Americans to be unreachable moochers who can’t be weaned away from President Barack Obama.
The fellow who dug that video up was James Earl Carter IV of Dunwoody, 35-year-old son of Chip and grandson of the former president. “There are some people on Twitter and other places who are saying it was poetic justice that it was a Carter that found this, because of the way the Romney campaign has treated my grandfather,” Carter IV said. “I completely agree with that sentiment.”
Carter IV, who is currently unemployed and trying to break into the political research business, said he conducts daily searches on YouTube and other sites, looking for ground-breaking video. “At the end of August, I came across a video of Romney at a fund-raising event, talking about a factory he visited in China,” he said. Much of it had been blurred out, but it looked promising.
The video was posted – falsely – under the name of Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, but then disappeared after Maddow’s people filed an objection with YouTube. Shortly afterwards, the video popped up again – this time under the name of Anne Onymous.
Carter IV sent messages to the originator of the video through YouTube, then Tumblr. He soon had a new Tumblr follower named Anne Onymous. Direct contact quickly followed.
The video that had been posted so far had not included the portion in which Romney declared:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”
Carter IV didn’t know where or when the recording was made. “The first thing I asked was can you tell me where this was filmed,” Carter said. “They wouldn’t tell me this, but they did respond to me.” (The video was made May 17 at the Boca Raton, Fla., home of financier Marc Leder, as part of a $50,000-a-person fund-raiser.)
As it turned out, the shooter of the video was associated with Global-Tech, a Hong Kong-based firm that a Bain Capital affiliate had acquired. Several weeks earlier, Carter IV had worked with Mother Jones writer David Corn on an article on the acquisition. Thus Carter IV was able to establish his bone fides with the source.
“They wanted to get the story out and they wanted to assure their jobs,” Carter said. And they wanted to make sure they weren’t running afoul of any privacy laws. So on Aug. 30, the last day of the Republican National Convention, Carter IV handed off the video contact to Corn of Mother Jones, who eventually obtained the whole of the video.
“Once I realized there was a lot more involved in this than I could personally deal with, my goal became to get the story out,” said Carter IV, who met Corn for the first time at the Democratic National Convention this month.
“I thought it would be a little bit of a story, but it has gotten a lot bigger than I would have ever thought,” said Carter IV, who picked up 1,500 Twitter followers overnight. He’s still looking for work, but things are looking up. “I’ve had some offers now. I haven’t accepted any of them yet, but that’s not a concern anymore, I guess,” he said.
Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) has posted a 14-minute interview with James Carter here. It’s worth checking out. O’Hayer asked him if revenge was a factor in his research. Said the president’s grandson:
“It wasn’t a part of the motivation, but it was definitely a part of the satisfaction.”
Walter Jones of Morris News Service says Republican Lee Anderson of Grovetown has declined yet another opportunity to debate U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta:
A spokesman for Republican challenger Lee Anderson told the nation’s second-largest press club that he is declining an invitation to debate the man he wants to unseat, Democratic Congressman John Barrow.
The Atlanta Press Club’s Oct. 21 debate would be televised throughout the whole district on Georgia Public Broadcasting, unlike local media outlets that only reach voters in various parts of the 12th District. Anderson participated in the club’s debate during the primary.
Meanwhile, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Republican charges that U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, “left taxpayers on the hook for $950k study on genetic makeup of ants.”
And Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News looks at complaints that the preamble to the proposed charter school amendment on the November ballot has been tweaked to encourage approval:
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider