A video–that has yet to be authenticated–tells the story of a man who happens to sound an awful like Mitt Romney touring a Chinese factory that Bain Capital was set to buy. The tale documented near slave labor and shocking living conditions.
It never goes so far as to say that Bain actually bought the factory, so it never examines whether Bain cleaned up the conditions (which is probably doubtful), but the most damning part of the video isn’t the non-revelation that many American goods are made in sweatshops. It isn’t even that Romney might have been involved with companies that use Chinese sweatshops. That’s pretty much old, although admittedly under-reported, news at this point.
The most revealing part of the video is at the very beginning and at the very end, in which he admits that Americans benefit from simply being American.
Here’s the video, which was supposedly posted by Rachel Maddow, but on an account that is only a day old and at the time of this posting, has only 56 followers and one posting, is suspicious, but nonetheless, the video does sound like Romney:
Here is the transcript (emphasis added):
“95% of life is set up for you if you were born in this country. And, I remember going to ah, uh, sorry just to bore you with stories.
When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there. It employed about 20,000 people. And they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23. They were saving for potentially becoming married.
And they work in these huge factories, they made various uh, small appliances. And uh, as we were walking through this facility, seeing them work, the number of hours they worked per day, the pittance they earned, living in dormitories with uh, with little bathrooms at the end of maybe 10, 10 room, rooms. And the rooms they have 12 girls per room.
Three bunk beds on top of each other. You’ve seen, you’ve seen them? (Oh…yeah, yeah!) And, and, and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. And, and, we said gosh! I can’t believe that you, you know, keep these girls in! They said, no, no, no. This is to keep other people from coming in.
Because people want so badly to come work in this factory that we have to keep them out. Or they will just come in here and start working and, and try and get compensated. So we, this is to keep people out. And they said, actually Chinese New Year as the girls go home, sometimes they decide they’ve saved enough money and they don’t come back to the factory.
And he said, so, on the weekend after Chinese New Year there will be a line of people hundreds long, outside the factory, hoping that some girls haven’t come back. And they can come to the factory. And, and so as we were experiencing this for the first time, going to see a factory like this in China some years ago.
The Bain Partner I was with turned to me and said, you know, 95% of life is settled if you are born in America. This is uh, this is an amazing land and what we have is unique and fortunately it is so special we are sharing it with the world.”
Mitt Romney, with his refusal to pay his fair share in taxes, is proving himself to be the most ungrateful, most insidious type of American. If this video is real, he’s admitting that his American birthright accounts for 95% of his success. If he was truly honest with himself and with us, he’d admit that at least another 4% of his success came from the fortune and business acumen handed down to him from his father.
Romney steals America’s resources, makes himself vastly wealthy, and refuses to pay the rent that is due to the American taxpayers. Instead, he shelters his money in places like the Cayman Islands and makes every effort to avoid showing us exactly how much we are being ripped off.
Perhaps even more frightening is that Romney is running to be the leader of our country. I have long felt that anyone running for national office should immediately divest from all private investments and put their fortunes into treasury bills and bonds. If a person wants to be handed the keys to our country, they should have personal investment in our country, not in China or in the Cayman Islands.
If we, as Americans, invest in the success of our wealthiest and most successful, it’s not too much to ask for our president or congressional leaders to personally invest in ours.
If in fact, Bain did buy this factory, and the working conditions were not changed, I hope it becomes viral, but for now, we have a pretty good idea that Romney agrees with the contention that many hands go into helping an American success story.
Update: The Rachel Maddow Show has tweeted that the account is not real, which neither validates nor invalidates the video.