Saturday Night Open Thread: Leaked Videos of Romney Fund-Raiser Go (almost) Mainstream

About a month ago, I saw a supposed “leaked video” of Mitt Romney at a private fund-raiser. There were a series of clips from the speech posted on You tube. I can’t recall now where I first learned about this, but at the time, bloggers were saying that it wasn’t confirmed that the audio was actually Romney, although the voice and content sound exactly like him. The earliest new link I can find is this one from August 27 at Shanghaiist.com. The video was also reportedly shown to employees of Sensata, the company in Illinois that is currently being destroyed by Bain Capital.

Suddenly today, the videos are turning up in posts from “respectable” bloggers. Ezra Klein highlights the first one I saw: Romney discussing working conditions at a Chinese factory he toured when he was at Bain Capital.

Klein uses this to argue that Romney was admitting that if you live in the U.S., you’re born with a leg up. In other words, “you didn’t build that.” Klein got the video from Political Wire. I’m not sure why these blogs are posting the videos now when they have been on You Tube for awhile. Have they been authenticated?

A number of these “leaked videos” are posted at the You Tube site of “Anne Onymous.”

Here is another really offensive one in which “Romney” talks angrily about people who vote for Obama as being “dependent on the government” and feeling “entitled to health care, food, and housing.” Listen to how his voice rises in outrage at the notion of people thinking they should not have to starve, die of untreated disease, or live on the street.

In other clips, “Romney” explains why the campaign is using Ann “sparingly,” makes a crude joke about immigration, says he doesn’t want to leave anything to his grandchildren, claims he didn’t inherit anything, admits he was born “with a silver spoon,” and more. In one, “Romney” says “I wish we weren’t unionized. We could go a lot deeper than you’re allowed to go.” What’s that about–wages, benefits? A few of the clips have video, some only audio.

Personally, I’m convinced the voice is Romney’s. But where was the recording made? Or is it a hoax? Check out the videos/audios and see what you think.

UPDATE: The Boston Globe referenced the “purported” Chinese worker video in a story today on Romney’s investments in China. Evidently their reporters had little doubt the voice was Romney’s. I’ve posted some quotes in the comment thread.

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62 Comments on “Saturday Night Open Thread: Leaked Videos of Romney Fund-Raiser Go (almost) Mainstream”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    There are a few diaries on this at dailykos also. I wish I knew why it is suddenly OK for it to appear in the Washington Post.

  2. Silent Kate says:

    That first video I saw awhile ago but I cannot remember where I saw it. That’s Romney’s voice. He sounds like my conservative brothers telling me how wonderful the Chinese have it when they are making all of those iPads for us.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yup. I saw it at least a month ago, but I hesitated to post it because people were saying it was fake.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    OK, I got this link from a dailykos diary. The Boston Globe published a story today that confirms that Romney’s Bain invested in a Chinese factory with “cheap labor.”

    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.

    Romney also has between $500,000 and $1 million invested in a Bain Capital fund that has been used to purchase shares of GOME, a Chinese electronics company, according to the financial disclosure form Romney filed in June. That company — in which Bain has been one of the largest outside shareholders — is being sued by Microsoft Corp. for selling computers with pirated versions of its Windows and Office software.

    Romney frequently criticizes China for intellectual property theft, the type of practices that GOME is alleged to have benefited from. Romney’s campaign said that his investments are held in a blind trust, and are controlled by a trustee, R. Bradford Malt.

    Much more at the link!

    • bostonboomer says:

      The story references the video as legitimate.

      According to Securities and Exchange Commission documents that were first reported by Mother Jones magazine, a Bain Capital affiliate, Brookside Capital Partners Fund, acquired about 6 percent of Global Tech Appliances on April 17, 1998. Romney was listed as the “sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc. and thus is the controlling person of Brookside Inc.”

      A French appliance manufacturer called SEB successfully sued Global Tech in the United States for copying its patented deep-fat fryers, winning $2.65 million in a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2010. The legal case began in 1998.

      Romney appeared to reference the Global Tech investment in a video that appeared on YouTube about three weeks ago. In the 2-minute video, which was shot surreptitiously and purports to be taken at a high-dollar Romney fund-raiser, Romney describes some of the spartan working conditions at a company Bain officials were planning to buy.

      “When I was back in my private sector days, we went to China to buy a factory there,” he says. “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 at these huge factories.”

      Romney said the women were packed into dormitories, 12 per room in bunk beds, and only earned a “pittance.”

      • Seriously says:

        God, if Bill Clinton could go into the debate instead of O, he could take Romney apart on this, first as a father of a daughter and then from a wonkish perspective. Sigh.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    I have been “busy” most of the day catching up on my reading homework for our book club selection for Wednesday night. The book is a little boring to be honest so I have also immersed myself in the Bob Woodward book in between.

    My impressions of the “players: involved in the budget crunch are as follows:

    1. John Boehner is a lazy sloppy drunk who prefers short work schedules that allow him to go home to Ohio most weekends. He is totally disrespectful of Obama.
    2. Nancy Pelosi can be as nasty as has been claimed but knows how to get the votes counted.
    3. Harry Reid is not to be trusted.
    4. Mitch McConnell is a snake in the grass and will do anything to win.
    5. Eric Cantor is the “villain” of the piece from start to finish. With the Tea Party voters safely in his pocket, he will do anything in his power to undermine both Boehner and Obama.
    6. Larry Summers was right all along in fighting for a bigger stimulus though he apparently is rather unlikable as a person.
    7. Rahm Emanuael is exactly how he is perceived. Arrogant, foul mouthed, and effective.
    8. Biden tends to speak out of both sides of his mouth. A true example of an old fashioned, Irish politician who know his way around “shmoozing”. Comes across “dumb” but isn’t.
    9. Obama is seen really fighting for the middle and lower classes but unable to “connect” with those he needs to get him a victory.

    Probably because he came to the office convinced that government works for and by the people until he met up with this crew who either had agenda’s, vendetta’s, hurt feelings, job titles, and power clutches at work and believed that could “roll him” until they couldn’t.

    BostonBoomer seems to be correct in her assessment that he may very well have awakened and finally “got it” after all because from the narrative of this book he is very much a hard worker and approaches the issues from a cerebral based examination and in DC this is not how it works.

    The final assessment if that the “big deal” they sought was lost due to both Boehner having lost control of his role as speaker and Obama’s aloofness from having to “kiss butt” every step of the way.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    And that video is definitely Mitt Romney speaking. No question in my mind.

    There seems to be more excitement waitng for the new iPhone to come out next week than his candidacy for POTUS even among members of his own party.

    • dakinikat says:

      The funniest thing is that that’s not Buddha. That’s Hotei, the happy monk who is equivalent to Santa Claus in Japan and China. I have no idea why Americans don’t get that Buddha was a skinny dude that fasted for a really really long time but, hey, I’ve personally decided that a hell of a lot of Americans enjoy not knowing a damn thing outside what they can see from the back or front porch!

      • RalphB says:

        It’s the statues. All most Americans know about Buddhism comes from those tourist statues :-)

      • dakinikat says:

        When xtians use to come to a buddhist chat room where I used to hang years ago and try to convert us, they’d ask us why we worshiped a fat dude and didn’t we know anything about JAYzeus. I’d say, well I was never understood worshiping Popsicle sticks or twigs glued together and reindeer make me sneeze. They’d actually think I was serious and try to explain that I was confused. The room used to love to watch me f with them that way. They thought we weren’t xtians because we didn’t know about Jayzeus. Then, I’d tell them I’d read the bible through 3 times and that I just couldn’t reconcile all the contradictions and magic and that they came in and did the equivalent of confusing Santa Claus with their christ so they failed the test and wouldn’t be getting their convert a pagan badge today.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Let’s hope no right wing evangelicals or devout Hindus see that.

      • dakinikat says:

        It’s a t shirt. That could be worth buying and wearing in some select parking lots on Sunday. Bet we’d see the Tahrir square antics over here real fast.

  6. List of X says:

    After the last post, I have to wonder whether the Teavangelicals will stage violent protests in response to the Youtube clips insulting their prophet Mitt Romney. If not, it’s probably only because they don’t care about Romney.

  7. RalphB says:

    SteveM has an amazingly good post on the apocalyptic weirdos out there now. If you’re too normal, you may not even know these nutters are out there.

    APOCALYPSE PR0N

    End Times
    There is that feeling in the air.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Seriously, who are these people? Where do they come from? My hypothesis is child abuse.

      • RalphB says:

        Something has them insane. Steve seems to be onto something with them wanting to be victims so they can fell heroic or something for getting up in the morning. That’s one constant in the whole wingnut blogosphere, they’re always the victim.

      • dakinikat says:

        They all sit around together and hype themselves into a frenzy telling ghost stories. Ben Stein goes around calling himself an economist when he has a law degree from Yale. He lives in his own private Idaho with a bunch of other nut jobs.

  8. dakinikat says:

    BB: This one is for you.
    Jack Kerouac’s ex-girlfriend lifts lid on beat novelist’s rise and fall: Joyce Johnson’s new book reveals detail… http://bit.ly/OsQahJ

    • bostonboomer says:

      That would be her third book! She’s really milking a couple of months’ relationship for all she can get.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The article says they were together for two years, but I don’t think he was living with Johnson all that time. I loved her first book when I read it years ago.

  9. pdgrey says:

    Wow, BB thanks for pulling me up here although I’m sorry no one will see my Gary Bauer, the Peter Lorrie of bigots video I left below. hehe I’m so glad this is now being seen. When I saw the video Ralph put up I has pulling my jaw off the floor.

  10. Man, I just read the headlines on Drudge …how frightening, something about an armada to help Israel attack Iran and other end of world drama. I just got back, it was a busy day, so I need to catch up.

  11. RalphB says:

    @JomanaCNN : One senior official just told me they have no evidence yet to support President’s statements that attack was pre-planned. #Libya http://huff.to/QcMz9e

  12. RalphB says:

    If they were paid to protest, who paid them?

    Amid uneasy calm in Cairo, prime minister says some were paid to protest

    Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — Egypt’s prime minister said some of the thousands involved in days of protests near the U.S. Embassy got paid to participate, state news reported Saturday, the same day riot police managed to force demonstrators from the area.

    Prime Minister Hesham Kandil said “a number” of those involved in the tense, sometimes violent protests, which began Tuesday, later confessed to getting paid to participate, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency. He noted, too, that some of the demonstrators were acting on their own and weren’t paid to vent their anger against the United States over an inflammatory anti-Islam film that was privately produced in that country.

    Kandil did not say whether the government knew or suspected who paid the demonstrators, according to the MENA report.

    Also Saturday, some semblance of normalcy finally returned to Cairo after riot police successfully pushed away demonstrators from the U.S. diplomatic as well as nearby Tahrir Square.

    • dakinikat says:

      This all smells of a false flag operation. Let’s see, who could afford to go around and pay people to protest at US embassies … who has that kind of money all over the world ….

      who smirked like “I know something you don’t know …” after a premature press conference a few days ago …

      who is trying to stir up a war on Disco Dave’s tomorrow …

      Gee … let’s connect some dots, shall we?

      • RalphB says:

        It does stink to high heaven. I really want to know who financed that stupid little film. If the Egyptian prime minister isn’t full of it, it would be nice to know who was paying protestors. But you know, this just comes off as too stupid to be a professional operation. If I had to guess, any pro op really started when whoever got that thing on Egyptian TV.

        • dakinikat says:

          I think they brought in the bag man on a parole violation to figure out where the money came from. I’m pretty sure the entire thing was orchestrated as a September/October Surprise. An Egyptian on twitter said some one was selling Al Quada t-shirts in Tahrir square and was laughing about it. When have you ever heard of that happening? It sounds like a bunch of people out there with money are trying to confuse any stupid american than can, frankly. I think Cannonfire and Smoking Gun have all that information that show that even our Government smells a rat. I wouldn’t put it past some of these richies to wag the dog, would you? Or the neo cons here or in Israel. They have been trying to goad us into war with Iran for years now. Frankly, I wouldn’t put it pass that lying POS Richie Rich Romney either.

        • dakinikat says:

          Nah, they’ve done really stupid obvious things before. Look at all the stupid stuff during the Reagan years with Ollie North and then the negotiations with Iran prior to the election? The government just didn’t air all the dirty laundry but we had enough to know they were seriously stupid. Look at the Watergate break in. How stupid was that?

      • RalphB says:

        That’s a strong probability and it you’re sure your stooge can never identity the actual source of the money, it make a lot of sense. I’m pretty sure they are capable of it. Then it got away from them and real militants used it to kill Americans in Libya. I hope someone pays for this big time, whoever is involved.

      • bostonboomer says:

        That is very creepy.

  13. ANonOMouse says:

    BB…..Thanks for the videos. Glad to see that Klein used the factory recording at his blog. The second video/recording where Romney complains about the 47% who will vote for Obama, needs to go viral, because it clearly demonstrates what a pompous, arrogant and ignorant ass this guy is.