James Carter, the opposition researcher who unearthed the infamous 47 percent video involving Mitt Romney, met President Barack Obama for the first time at an event in Decatur, Ga. Thursday.
The meeting was first reported by Politico and confirmed to TPM by Carter. He said his cousin, Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter (D), told the President about his role in the video while they were waiting in line for a photo.
"It's much better when someone else does that," Carter joked in a phone interview. "I didn't want to be the one to tell him and come off as arrogant."
That got Obama's attention. "Get over here," the President said, according to Carter. Obama threw his arm around Carter and thanked him several times. Describing the meeting as a "whirlwind," Carter said Obama didn't delve into detail about the content of the video, a massive development in the 2012 campaign that sent the Romney team reeling. Carter then had his picture taken with Obama. The President was in Georgia for an event to promote education policies outlined in his State of the Union address.
"You know, I’ve been looking forward to meeting him for a long time. It was just great," Carter said. "I was just kind of in a daze. He doesn’t seem real. I see him on video all the time, so it was just a strange thing to see him in person."
It was Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, who came across footage of Romney at the Florida fundraiser and then brought it to the attention of David Corn of Mother Jones. He and his wife run an opposition and policy research firm based in Atlanta.