Leaked Video: Romney Describes Horrendous Conditions At Chinese Factory Shopped By Bain

Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr

These are the factories to which Bain shipped jobs. At a $50,000 per plate fundraiser, Mitt Romney describes the outsourcing process:

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 pitance 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.”


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5 Responses to Leaked Video: Romney Describes Horrendous Conditions At Chinese Factory Shopped By Bain

  1. Tracey


    It was like that in America in the late 1800s, before unions. Romney is opposed to unions.

    • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

      Linda the Dolt


      A modern robber baron.

      It's interesting how he seems to express a certain amount of empathy for the Chinese workers, but at the same time he's opposed to unions (as you mention) and apparently had no problem with going ahead and utilizing factories like these to increase profits for Bain.

  2. Tin


    Wow. First time I've seen this video. What's interesting (unless I complete misinterpreted Romney" is his statement about how "95% of life is set up for if you were born in this country". This seems to fall in line with what Obama was stating when he made his "You didn't build it" statement.

    Romney and other Republicans jumped all over what they implied Obama was saying, but it sounds like Romney actually agrees with Obama's statement.

    Mainly that there are structures that we enjoy in the US that helps us to be successful and to built companys, etc – that we have to recognize. That we in fact didn't build it from scratch – or alone.

  3. Mike


    To look beyond the political noise of the past 25 years, this, in essence, is what's wrong with America today. Instead of "taking care" of its employees by trying to pay them a decent wage, business owners shipped all of the jobs overseas to pay foreigners pennies an hour to build their products.

    Meanwhile, the American worker was left holding the bag and that's why today, we're having the economic problems we're having.

    • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

      Linda the Dolt


      It's wrong on both ends. American jobs are lost, and the conditions for these Chinese workers are also awful. It's one thing to be in favor of globalization, but not where American jobs are lost due to the exploitation of others.