MSNBC “fact-checker” Ezra Klein, who is not known for sticking to facts, wins the award for most ridiculous Mitt Romney-bashing argument of the day.
This leaked video (via Political Wire) from a Mitt Romney fundraiser is being sold as “Romney talks about Bain profiting from Chinese slave labor.” That’s wrong. There’s no evidence that any of the labor at the factory Romney is discussing was slave labor. There’s no evidence it’s even mildly coerced labor. In fact, the entire point of the story is that the jobs from that factory, despite the seemingly awful conditions, are in tremendous demand.
But after recounting his visit to the factory, Romney ends with a lesson. “The Bain partner I was with turned to me and said, ‘You know, 95 percent of life is settled if you are born in America.”
To Romney, this is a patriotic thought. “This is an amazing land and what we have is unique, and fortunately it is so special we are sharing it with the world.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, or how it relates to a Chinese factory where the workers make little and 12 of them share a single, dormitory-style bathroom. But it’s a nice sentiment.
The more straightforward interpretation of his story is that, if you were born in America, you didn’t build that. Success in life is determined by more than pluck and intelligence and effort. It’s influenced by the quality of political institutions and the level of economic advancement. It’s influenced by whether you’re in a developed economy or a developing one, and whether you can find jobs that make use of your unique talents, and whether the labor market is tight or loose.
Please. Only someone deeply in the tank for President Barack Obama could believe such an interpretation of Romney’s remarks.
Twitter users on both sides of the aisle provided a far more fair and balanced analysis:
— Chris Cook (@ChrisCookLA) September 15, 2012
— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) September 15, 2012
But don’t take our word for it. Watch the video and decide for yourself.