The man behind the 47% video

While Mitt Romney always had a tough road to winning the last election, the infamous video of him at a $50,000 a plate dinner complaining about the 47% of moochers likely put the lid on his chances. Now the person who made the video has emerged from the shadows. To no one’s surprise, he was one of the staff working the event. His name is Scott Prouty and he worked as a bartender that evening and in an interview he explains what caused him to record the event, how he did it, and why he agonized over what to do with it once he realized what he had.

I did not watch the whole interview that Prouty had with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz (you can see it here) but the excerpts provided in this news report were quite fascinating.

One thing that struck me was how Prouty got irritated right off the bat at the way Romney talked to the staff as soon as he entered the room.

His attention was piqued when Romney walked into the room and quickly began ordering staff members around. Even though his comments that the workers should speed up their service was likely in jest, that still rubbed Mr Prouty the wrong way.

I have noticed that quality about people who are bullies and have a sense of entitlement. They are ‘jokingly’ rude to people who are not in a position to joke back to them in the same way. When called on it, which they rarely are, they will say it was all meant in fun but the people at the receiving end often feel demeaned.

Another interesting point was that Prouty was disturbed by the way Romney spoke approvingly about the appalling conditions of the workers he saw in factories in China.

After that, Romney began talking about the military-style organization of a factory in China where one of his companies had outsourced some of its work. The former governor went on to describe how 12 young women were living in each of the small boarding rooms, in three-tiered bunk beds.

‘At this point I realized this was not your typical speech,’ Mr Prouty said.

Mr Prouty thought that Romney’s views on the factory were the most outlandish, and reflective of what the candidate thought of practical work environments.

‘He just wandered through this horrendous place, and he thinks this is pretty good,’ Mr Prouty said.

It is interesting that this aspect of the video got hardly any play in the media during the election, though to me it sounds terrible.

Now that Prouty has come out into the open, you can likely expect the right wing noise machine to go into every detail of Prouty’s life in order to punish him for his actions. He is bracing himself for the onslaught.


  1. maudell says

    Yes, it’s interesting. I saw the part about the China factory a few weeks/months before the 47% video came out. Crommunist blogged it. I also thought that was worse than the 47% remark, but I assumed 47% was not shocking me as much because I am not American.
    But really, when you hear that excerpt about the factory, Romney’s argument is:”It’s ok for Chinese people to be treated horribly,because in other factories, they are treated super horribly. So bringing them these conditions is a great gift.”
    Seriously, Romney has a messiah complex. It’s really sad to see.

  2. smrnda says

    Romney’s wife Ann(e?) shares his Messiah complex, and I recall watching her talk of how her husband doesn’t brag about helping people because he thinks being generous is a privilege. I mean, for a guy like Romney who benefits from the exploitation of others and from unearned privilege so greatly, the occasional pittance he might throw out is spit in a bucket compared to the damage he does. Lots of privileged people view themselves as messiahs – they don’t see that a system that enables them to be in charge is causing the problems they occasionally express a little bit of regret over. Romney wouldn’t want to be treated the way he treated the bartender, let alone the workers in China, but he’s *different* than them.

  3. Alverant says


    Romney’s argument is:”It’s ok for Chinese people to be treated horribly.”

    That’s all that needs to be said. Unfortunately there are many people who wouldn’t be swayed by conditions there. Some people would say, “Well their commies and deserve what they get.” Others would say, “Yeah, but I like my cheap iProducts.” and try not to think about the real costs of their stuff.

    Rmoney’s 47% comment was directed at US citizens, people he is supposed to represent. People which included soldiers on active duty, children, and retirees; people which the average US citizen cares more about than Chinese workers. That’s why that section got more air-play.

  4. kraut says

    Anybody astonished that rich capitalist arseholes behaves like rich capitalist arsehole? The guy did the proper thing: expose the class enemy. Anybody who as of yet has not clued in that the US is a class society with crossover to a feudal society (where public taxes went into the pockets of a few, a very few) hasn’t got all his braincells working.

  5. garnetstar says

    I agree with Alverant. The 47% remark was more shocking in the context of the election. The guy said flat-out that, as president, a job he was currently seeking, he did not need and would not try, to represent nearly half the nation. That was more relevant at that moment.

    The China remarks are more shocking in a true sense, in that they show Romney’s inhumanity.

  6. Didaktylos says

    A classic example of the dictum that the true measure of a person’s character is the way they treat someone when the only restraint on them is their own conscience.

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