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Romney tells the story of what he saw when he took a tour of a factory in China:  The factory was surrounded or enclosed by barbed wire and guard towers. There were at least 120 young women working long hours for a "pittance."   Conditions were unsanitary with "little bathrooms" provided for every 10 rooms with 12 girls in each room.

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.

..The Bain Partner I was with turned to me and said, you know, 95% of life is settled if you are born in America.

Mitt toured this factory in China as President of Bain Capital and with a Bain partner, and thus Talking Points Memo asks the logical question whether Bain Capital invested in this labor camp. It is not unreasonable to think that Bain Capital took a tour of a factory before deciding whether to make an investment or purchase.
Left unclear, however, is whether Romney ended up investing in the facility himself. While the video has circulated for weeks, and drawn renewed attention in recent days, the Romney campaign has yet to deny that the candidate bought the factory.
The Romney campaign responded to TPM's inquiry with a no comment:
You know, that video’s old, you can call Bain and ask them what they did in terms of investing on it,” senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie told reporters on Monday. “I don’t have any information on it.”

The Romney campaign told TPM Monday that Gillespie’s “no comment” would be its final word on whether Bain acquired the factory.

Notice Romney's campaign responses focus on whether Bain invested in this company or whether Bain acquired the factory, both suggesting that the investment or purchase would have happened after this tour described by Romney in this video.

CNN also tweeted that a "source familiar with Bain's investment history" said "Bain did not purchase the factory."

However, the question might be: Had Bain Capital already invested in this labor camp factory before Romney and his Bain partner took this particular tour of the camp? And, did Bain Capital maintain that investment after this tour of the inhumane conditions of this forced labor camp?

President Obama's campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt suggested this Chinese forced labor camp is a manufacturing company Bain invested in before taking this tour:

As Mitt Romney tries to convince Americans he is a modern day trade warrior, it’s clear that his hypocrisy knows no bounds. Before Mitt Romney started claiming he’d stand up to China and its unfair trade practices, he was profiting off of them. Governor Romney even maintained his investment in a Chinese manufacturing company that relied on outsourcing American jobs after seeing its poor work conditions, which he described as surrounded by barbed wire and packed with 12 women per dormitory room. When our competitors started a global race to the bottom, rather than placing a premium on creating American jobs and lifting the middle class, Mitt Romney dove in head first.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, Mitt obviously did not find this disturbing. (8+ / 0-)

    Instead, he just remarked that Americans were lucky not to be in this situation.  He certainly made no comment that he was in opposition to these deplorable conditions for the workers.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:40:44 AM PDT

  •  Of course he invested in it. If there's a profit (5+ / 0-)

    to be made all else is secondary. That is the world he inhabits. The fact that they have no comment on the question is only confirmation.

    But why would this be surprising. His domestic purchases of companies display exactly the same attitude. Workers aren't people, they are tools for making a profit.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:43:11 AM PDT

  •  If so: He's beyond sleazy, he's downright evil. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:44:27 AM PDT

  •  That was a really quick response (3+ / 0-)

    I would assume that Team Obama has pretty solid intel on this for LaBolt to come out and say that. Makes you wonder how long they've been sitting on this video, just waiting, waiting...

  •  You could almost hear the consternation in Mitt's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    voice: "You give them bathrooms?"

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

    by itsjim on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:54:17 AM PDT

  •  This video came out weeks ago. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, ssgbryan

    It is interesting that team Obama now has a comment, most likely after investigating the facts behind the situation.  

    Another example of why it is good to wait until the facts are known and there has been a  chance to think through the relevance, if any, involved.  

    For Romney to speak matter-of-factly about this in the way he did, suggests a level of tolerance for the pain of others, nay a complete lack of interest, which would truly be dangerous in a President.  Truly.  Dangerous.  

    That he has been brought up on a notion that he is of the Elect and is therefore a natural aristocrat, one who knows best for everyone else, means that he would become a dictator.  

    But, as the Bible says, "pride goeth before a fall."  This seems to be a great case study in the truth of that admonition.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 11:01:35 AM PDT

  •  To me this video is more disturbing than the last (2+ / 0-)

    one.
       It's this model that Romney seems to find a good one that lays the foundation for Willard looking at Americans as feeling "entitled" to the basic needs of life.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 11:03:06 AM PDT

  •  What?!? That barbed wire isn't (1+ / 0-)

    for those nice ladies' protection? Mitt didn't get the memo.

  •  He makes this sound .. (4+ / 0-)
    When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there.
    As casual as buying a lunch. He might have well have said "Back when I was a slum lord" or "When I enslaved children"

    How will he respond to this? He retroactively wasn't in charge?

  •  Why didn't you buy a factory and employ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio, trumpeter

    workers in this country? Oh right, because you couldn't imprison the workers and pay them $2/yr.

    Hillary Sent Me. OBAMA/BIDEN '12

    by HillaryIsMyHomegirl on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 11:44:35 AM PDT

  •  some more stuff (3+ / 0-)

    from the Boston Globe article that the Obama camp cites:

    When Romney was in charge of Bain Capital, for example, the firm invested millions in a company that manufactured household appliances using cheaper labor in Dongguan, China.
    more specifically, in July, David Corn at MJ reported:
    On April 17, 1998, Brookside Capital Partners Fund, a Bain Capital affiliate, filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission noting that it had acquired 6.13 percent of Hong Kong-based Global-Tech Appliances, which manufactured household appliances in a production facility in the industrial city of Dongguan, China. That August, according to another SEC filing, Brookside upped its interest in Global-Tech to 10.3 percent. Both SEC filings identified Romney as the person in control of this investment: "Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc. and thus is the controlling person of Brookside Inc."
    The SEC filings do not reveal how much Romney initially invested in Global-Tech (which is now known as Global-Tech Advanced Innovations). But Brookside first acquired 748,000 shares at a time when Global-Tech was mounting an IPO at $19 a share. If that was the purchase price Brookside paid, then Romney's firm originally invested $14.2 million in the company.
  •  What factory (0+ / 0-)

    Who are they making stuff for?  Anybody know?

    When I'm stupid and incompetent financially, I get calls from collection agencies and higher interest rates. When the 1% are stupid and incompetent financially they get billions from the government.

    by tarminian on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 12:04:48 PM PDT

  •  What a stupid, stupid, naive man. (0+ / 0-)

    How could anybody believe that.

    Anything he did at Bain must have been strongly suggested by others because he doesn't seem capable of telling truth from obvious fiction. Sure, the factory was so great they put up fences to keep people out!  Slavery never even came to mind. The people people he trusts tell him it's the truth.

    Sure, he followed all IRS requirement to the letter of the law as told to him by his tax attorneys and advisors; people he trusts tell him it's the truth.

    Sure, he believes the 47% myth, people he trusts tell him it's the truth.

    Sure, he believes the neocons, people he trusts tell him it's the truth.

    My Mormon cousins said he was great at dealing with things as long as it was exactly from the official church teaching. People he trusts tell him it's the truth.

    I guess that keeps him from really having to make a decision on his own and be responsible for it, if he's even capable of really making a decision.

    Other than assaulting a student and forcibly cutting his hair, and playing police officer in an official uniform, other than his seeming lack of humanity, and everything above, why on earth would anybody be worried about him being president?

    "I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role." - Eleanor Roosevelt. I would like to add that I am a happy atheist!

    by Rogneid on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 12:27:32 PM PDT

  •  I just got home and am proud to rec'd this.. (2+ / 0-)

    I believe Mitt Romney and Bain Capital probably did invest in this labor camp. That's because they have no morals - they don't care about fair wages, working conditions, or about average or poor Americans...

    The reason these tapes and the Bain Capital attacks have been effective is simple. People are appalled because Mitt made out like a bandit while other people suffered. If Mitt got wealthy and had actually created decent wage U.S.A. jobs with health benefits, people wouldn't be so outraged. Its people like Mitt getting by leeching off others is what's so objectionable.

    I'm baffled by Romney's campaign. Who the heck is running it? The campaign is a disaster which is good for us. I'm used to the Republicans trying to dress plutocrats up as something else such as men of faith, etc...Romney's campaign hasn't been doing that..I once read that's because they tried to  dress Mitt up as a man of Christian faith during the 2008 Republican primary but he lost more votes due to lack of authenticity  than he gained so they decided to let him be himself this time....don't know if true..

    I wonder what happens to the Republican Party after this loss? Well, I suspect MB is right and they will try to run a likeable plutocrat they can dress up as something else..

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 04:49:31 PM PDT

  •  He's a sociopath for Pete's sake (0+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't it have been nice if after taking this tour he resolved to end sweatshops, and certainly not invest in them or outsource jobs to stoke them. But then he's never done anything good for anybody that I can determine. His whole life is strictly profiteering. I suspect he views the USA as another stationery company to take over, and lay off a good percentage of the folks - say 47%.

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