Jimmy Carter: Grandson Thanked By Obama For '47 Percent' Tape (VIDEO)

02/21/2013 08:08 pm ET

Former president Jimmy Carter told CNN's Piers Morgan that President Obama personally thanked his grandson for his role in the release of the infamous video of Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks last week.

"When James went to meet President Obama, President Obama ran across the room, embraced him and thanked him profusely for his time, by the way," Carter said in an interview airing Thursday evening.

The meeting, which Politico reported last week, occurred during Obama's post-State of the Union trip to Georgia to tout his education proposals.

The former president's grandson, James Carter IV, had a critical hand in the release of the secretly-taped remarks, which many considered to mark a turning point in the presidential election.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said at a private fundraiser in Florida. "All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

Romney's controversial comments, which Team Obama used in a harsh campaign ad, helped solidify the former Massachusetts governor's image as out-of-touch and and unconcerned with the problems of ordinary citizens.

"So basically, Carter won Obama the election," Morgan joked in the CNN interview.

"I think so," Carter replied. "I think it was the pivotal moment ... It stuck with him for the rest of the election and I think it was a major factor, if not the major factor."

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