CNN only had soft questions and praise on Thursday for Jimmy Carter's grandson who had unearthed the tape of Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks. Host Wolf Blitzer gave a warm interview to James Carter IV on The Situation Room and Piers Morgan later teed up former President Carter to brag about his grandson on Piers Morgan Tonight.
"How does it make you feel that your grandfather is so proud of what you did? What has he said to you?" Blitzer asked his Democratic guest. "He certainly was proud of you in the interview with Piers Morgan," he gushed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"It probably won him [Obama] the election," Morgan touted Carter's finding the video and giving it to liberal journalist David Corn. "I personally think so," former President Carter bragged of his grandson. "So basically – I think Carter won Obama the election," Morgan flattered Carter.
Both interviews hyped the Democratic opposition research of James Carter IV. "[D]id you realize, when you got that tape to David Korn of Mother Jones magazine, that it would have such a potentially pivotal impact in the election?" Blitzer teed up his guest. "But it was a key moment actually. I mean, do you think that was the pivotal moment in destroying Mitt Romney's chances?" Morgan asked former President Carter.
Blitzer started the interview by having Carter tell of his meeting with President Obama, where Obama thanked him for his research. "Tell us about your meeting, first of all, with President Obama last week in Atlanta," Blitzer first asked him. "What else did he say, the President?" he followed up.
A transcript of the segments, which aired on CNN on February 21, are as follows:
THE SITUATION ROOM
WOLF BLITZER: So does President Obama have former President Jimmy Carter to thank for his re-election? The former president explains how his grandson, James Carter IV, may have clinched the race for the president.
BLITZER: Tell us about your meeting, first of all, with President Obama last week in Atlanta.
JAMES CARTER IV, President Carter's grandson: Well, it was before the event, and I was in line to, you know, to have your – to shake hands and have your picture made with the President. There were several of us in line. And my cousin Jason Carter, who's a state senator here in Georgia, was in line ahead of me. And he, after he got his picture taken, told Obama that I was the one that had found the 47 percent tape.
And so then Obama said, "Hey, great, get over here." And then you know, and kind of half-embraced me, I want to say, put his arm around me. And we shook hands, and – and he thanked me for my support several times.
BLITZER: What else did he say, the President?
JAMES CARTER: Well, he thanked me for my support, and then I had my picture made. And then my wife, who was also in line, he called her in, and we had another picture made. And then afterwards, he talked to both of us and thanked us for our support. And said, you know, "Now that I have a second term, we can make sure these kids get what they need." And the event was an event about pre-K, and so, you know, he was definitely on message with the policy piece. And that's the reason that I do what I do. So I was – I was gratified by that.
BLITZER: You were happy about that. Walk us through how you came up with that tape. It was at a fund-raiser in Boca Raton, Florida, at a hotel. How did you come up with that tape where Romney spoke of that 47 percent?
JAMES CARTER: Well, I had been doing regular searches. I'm a researcher. And so I've been researching videos and making sure that I knew all of the videos that were – that were being posted online about Romney and some other Republicans. And I found a video that had just a piece of what ended up being the 68-minute video. And I tracked down the person who had made it, who goes by "Anonymous," and I introduced Anonymous to David Korn, and, you know, that's how it got out.
BLITZER: David Korn from Mother Jones magazine. And they released it. Can you tell us, was it a guest, was it a waiter, was it a busboy, was it somebody who was at – it was a closed-door meeting, obviously, the dinner.
JAMES CARTER: Well, I can say that it wasn't one of the people who had paid $50,000 to be there. But I'm not going to say anything more than that.
BLITZER: All right. And did – did you realize, when you got that tape to David Korn of Mother Jones magazine, that it would have such a potentially pivotal impact in the election?
JAMES CARTER: No, I didn't, actually. I hadn't seen -- I didn't see the whole thing until after it -- until after it was actually posted online by – by Mother Jones. But everything that I was doing at that point was trying to make some sort of a difference in the campaign, and so I obviously hoped that everything that I found would make a difference. It ended up being way beyond my wildest dreams.
BLITZER: How does it make you feel that your grandfather is so proud of what you did? What has he said to you?
JAMES CARTER: Well, he's -- on the day that it came out, he said that it was extraordinary, and that was in a very short e-mail. But I think it got the point across. He's always been proud of all of the grandkids, but it is nice to have him be publicly proud of me, in front of all the people who watch him on these various shows. That's – that's fun.
BLITZER: He certainly was proud of you in the interview with Piers Morgan.
PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
9:23 p.m. EST
PIERS MORGAN: Last time we spoke, you sort of suggested you didn't have much of a relationship with President Obama. Have things improved or deteriorated, or are they about the same?
JIMMY CARTER, former President of the United States: About the same.
CARTER: You know, he and I respect each other. When he came to Atlanta this past week, his staff invited me to come to the speech. I was in Atlanta to make a speech myself. I couldn't go. But he met my grandson, who's in the state Senate. He had met my grandson, who was the one who found the 47 percent tape and pretty –
MORGAN: Right. It probably won him the election.
CARTER: I think -- I personally think so. James, my grandson who did that, was born in – a month after I moved into the White House. His parents were living in the White House.
MORGAN: So basically – I think Carter won Obama the election.
CARTER: Well, I think -- I think so.
CARTER: But that's kind of a prejudiced –
MORGAN: But it was a key moment actually. I mean, do you think that was the pivotal moment in destroying Mitt Romney's chances?
CARTER: I believe it was. It was something that he could not deny. And it stuck with him for the rest of the election, and I think it was a major factor if not the major factor. And when James went to meet President Obama, President Obama ran across the room, embraced him and thanked him.