Much to then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney's chagrin, a speech he made on May 17, 2012 at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in a private Boca Raton, Fla. residence was secretly taped. It was then released on the site Mother Jones in September 2012, not long before the 2012 election.
On the tape, Romney said things that he wasn't saying to the public on the campaign trail, and, after the backlash that followed, clearly would rather they had never heard. The comments that made the most news were regarding who he perceived as built-in Obama voters: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the 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 ... And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not."
The tape, which caused an uproar and put the Romney campaign on the defensive, was made by Scott Prouty, who was bartending the event. He apparently taped the speech as a souvenir, but then decided to post a short clip from to YouTube where Romney described touring a factory in China. After being contacting by James Carter IV, Jimmy Carter's grandson, on behalf of Mother Jones reporter David Corn, Prouty provided the entire tape and the rest is history. Prouty remained anonymous until March 2013.
There's really no telling if the speech led directly to Romney's defeat at the hands of President Obama in 2012, but it can't have helped.