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Clinton Inspired Man Who Filmed Romney's 47% Speech

Former US President Bill Clinton during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2008 in New York.
Stan Honda | AFP | Getty Images
Former US President Bill Clinton during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2008 in New York.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton inspired an unnamed bartender who secretly taped Mitt Romney's "47 percent speech", according to the Huffington Post. The man, who left his camera running and caught the presidential candidate telling an audience that nearly half of all Americans pay no income tax, revealed his identity for the first time when he spoke to MSNBC's "The Ed Show" on Wednesday night.

"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," Romney was heard saying on the video clip.

The speech set off a political storm, with Romney accused of elitism, hurting his opinion poll ratings.

According to Huffington Post, the bartender who filmed the speech had previously worked at a fundraising event for Bill Clinton, where the former President had come back to the kitchen to thank the staff afterwards. The incident inspired the bartender to film Romney's speech.

Known as the "comeback kid" for rescuing his electoral victories from the jaws of defeat, Clinton overcame impeachment proceedings and the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal to leave office with the highest approval rating of any U.S. president since the Second World War.

The former president features in a new episode of the show "CNBC Meets". In this wide-ranging interview in Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton said that intervening earlier in Rwanda could have saved around 300,000 of the one million lives lost in the country's civil war.

"If we'd gone in sooner, I believe we could have saved at least a third of the lives that were lost...it had an enduring impact on me," he told Presenter Tanya Bryer.

A full interview with President Bill Clinton can be seen on "CNBC Meets" on March 20.

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  • Tania Bryer is a guest presenter and executive producer of CNBC Meets. In this series, she profiles some of the world’s most successful business people to find out what makes them tick. Bryer previously worked for BBC and Sky Television.