James Earl Carter IV — grandson of President Jimmy Carter — told his story Friday night to members of the Floyd County Democratic Party at its annual membership dinner.
Carter explained how he first came across fuzzy video footage of Romney telling donors his opinion about the “47 percent” of Americans that pay no income taxes.
“That was the moment that changed, not just my life, but the election,” said Carter.
Carter first discovered a very brief, low-quality clip on YouTube of what sounds like Romney’s voice talking about Chinese sweat shops.
After Carter gained a Twitter follower using the same handle as the video’s poster, an online exchange landed him 68 minutes of video, including the infamous “47 percent” comment.
“It turns out the part of the video I had seen was one of the least interesting parts,” Carter said.
From there, Carter worked with journalists like David Corn of “Mother Jones” magazine to spread the news.
“That story came out on Monday, and by Tuesday it was a non-stop media blitz,” said Carter.
This new-found attention has led Carter to launch an Atlanta-based research firm that follows the actions of key Republicans.
Prior to the 2012 election, Carter had followed his family’s tradition of involvement in Georgia politics. While a student at Georgia State, he helped his cousin, state Sen. Jason Carter, battle against Gov. Nathan Deal’s HOPE scholarship policies as part of an internship.
“My cousin got a lot of free work out of that,” Carter said jokingly.