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:

But don’t take our word for it. Watch the video and decide for yourself.


Ezra Klein’s lie: Now you see it, now you don’t!

‘Fact checker’ Ezra Klein doubles down on Janesville GM auto plant lie

Meet MSNBC’s fact-checker: Ezra Klein?!? Update: Klein’s blog falsely claims that Janesville auto plant closed in June 2008

  • Paratisi

    I’m just shocked he didn’t call Romney a Racist. Oh Wait, at MSKKK & the New Black Racists Network(formerly known as MSDNC or was it MSNBC? Whatever no Dif.), The First Racist Accusation is reserved for Toure or Al Sharpton, Right?

  • Melva

    Good Lord! He is really scraping to find anything in that, other than Mitt wanted to share the way we do business in this country with the world. Ezra Klein is pure slime.

  • John Kerry’s Forehead

    Who’s Ezra Klein?

    • TocksNedlog

      Rachel Maddow’s feminine alter ego.

      • Robert

        I’ve always said the same thing! He looks and acts just like her – except more like a woman.

      • dave

        It is MADcow, Rachel Madcow


      I really thing that Ron Reagan is Madcow’s uh, male clone. Klein is a close second, though.

  • Josephine (D)

    I hope that if I become a journalist like I want to be, I won’t turn into an idiot like Klein here.

    • TugboatPhil

      Josephine, I have noticed your comments about getting ready for college lately. I wish you the best. I’m not sure now that I could withstand the indoctrination you are about to endure. Remember who you are at all times and be aware that most of the people with you in college will choose the path of least resistance. Your peers will do their best to lead you off your path.

      Also keep in mind that some things in life never change. Human behavior is a constant. Circumstances change, but people rarely do. Your professors will no doubt spend a lot of time telling you the opposite. Don’t be afraid to challenge them, but balance that with wanting to have good grades. You will only be exposed to them for a short period.

      Remember that for all the bad things about America in 2012, we are still a country unique in the world. Our Constitution was written while humans were still held as slaves. But that same document set up the framework for a government that would allow us to correct that, as well as other failings along the way.

      The guarantee of a free press is also tied to an awesome responsibility which too many “journalists” have abandoned. They are supposed to be the watchdogs of liberty, holding ANY administration to the truth. When they allow their own views to block the ability to acknowledge the truth, they have failed.

      If you want to be a good journalist, first learn to be a good reporter. Who, what, where, why, when and how. Editors can chop a great story to pieces, but if you stay focused on those details it’s much more difficult. Sorry for being so long-winded. We had our granddaughter this week and I’ve become a bit introspective.

      • Catchance

        Bravo! Perfectly said. (Josephine, pay attention.)

        • Josephine (D)

          Trust me, I am. 😉

      • MommyK1

        Well said Phil, and our media would do well to remember that they are indeed the watchdog of liberty, and their descent under the vanity of their own self importance; to report their views rather than the news, is the greatest and present danger……God Bless….

      • billeeblue

        Tugboat Phil: If you don’t mind, I’ve respectfully reposted your comments on my Facebook timeline, for my granddaughter, who will be attending college in 2013 and wants to become a journalist. I did mention your name in the post because I admire and respect what you’ve just said. As a grandparent, I worry about the indoctrination of our young people and it starts as early as pre-school. The deep love we have for our grandchildren is extended to every child in this nation. Not only can they not forget who they are, but what our nation represents, as many of these far left professors are reinventing history. I don’t apply this to all teachers, but the majority’s views are slanted. Very few teachers’ agenda involves turning out good students and citizens faithful to our country and its well-being. We cannot allow them to stain our children’s views about America. Thanks.

        • Josephine (D)

          I even read in “The O’Reilly Factor for Kids” that a kid in middle or high school said that the only way he could get good grades is by agreeing with his teacher’s liberal agenda. I’ve also read where students have been in trouble for standing up for their values, both in high school and colleges. This is why I’m leaning more towards Hillsdale; it’s more conservative, and besides I love Michigan.

        • TugboatPhil

          Please convey my best wishes to your granddaughter on her journey as well! Mine has just turned 4. I have saved and accumulated old textbooks that still included a fairly diverse curriculum in history and geography. I hope she does well in math…I didn’t!

      • Josephine (D)

        Hi Phil; thanks for your words of encouragement. ^^

        Well, I’m hoping with a lot of scholarships I can go to either Hillsdale or the University of Chicago. I know HIllsdale has an excellent journalism study program, and I don’t think it costs as much as UofChicago. Also it’s a more conservative college, and it’ll put me between my family in the Detroit area and Chicagoland. I’m in my senior year of high school and will be studying American Government, so I’ll learn about the Constitution from a Catholic POV, and will stay true to it with any luck.

        Congrats on your granddaughter! May she grow up healthy and strong. =)

      • Joe Henderson

        This is excellent advice…..It’s a crying shame that students needs to be warned of the indoctrination process at all

    • ScaryCheri

      best wishes Josephine. stay true to yourself. I hope we read your by lines soon.

      • Josephine (D)

        Thank you Mrs. Hins! =)

    • Mary Kilbride

      Good for you, Josephine! I hope you will be a voice for the people… we so need real journalism to come back. You may be a part of the beginning of that movement!

      • Josephine (D)

        Thank you Mrs. Kilbride! Well, I’m getting fed up with the media as it is, and I admire the work Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck have done, so that’s part of the reason I want to do either journalism or politics. I don’t like what’s going on now, so I want to change it.

        • rwhiteside1

          Good for you! I hope others will find you, along the way, and follow your desires.

    • Angie Trapani Reen

      Good luck, Josephine! Remember to stay true to your beliefs and you will remain unscathed in regards to the indoctrination process. I went to college later in life (40+), and I thought spending a bit more money to attend a “Catholic University” would make a difference. Wow, I was so wrong and disappointed!!! I witnessed firsthand what the liberal professors preached to the younger people and they should be ashamed of themselves. If they want to present one view, at least be fair and tell the conservative view in an unbiased fashion. It was tough, but I spoke up and out for myself and my beliefs and values. Needless to say, they frowned, but I was proud to express myself. I wish you luck and will pray for you. Remember, they can’t break you if you are strong and determined. Always do your research when you present your point of view. I think Michelle Malkin is an excellent example and hope for more journalists like her. That’s you!!!

      • Josephine (D)

        Thank you Mrs. Reen! Well, I have heard that there are some “Catholic” colleges that aren’t so Catholic. Remember Obama spoke at Notre Dame? I don’t know about the faculty specifically, but I think that says a lot. Also, Georgetown obeyed orders from Obama to cover up religious symbols when he spoke there. I also read that a Catholic university in Chicago-Loyola, I think-once hosted a drag show, and let a militant pro-abortionist speak there. It’s frustrating for me, to want to stay conservative, pursue my career of choice, not be too far from my family, and find a school where I will at least not feel like an outcast. I’m also kind of interested in St. Vincent in Latrobe, PA, but it’s far from my family. I’m kind of hoping that maybe I could work for Michelle one day.

        By the way, I like your icon. =)

  • carla5731

    China is a great example of what you get when the government controls everything, so maybe it’s not the best example for Ezra Klein’s line of reasoning. That is, unless he thinks that we should be emulating them.

    I am constantly amazed at how poorly Obama’s supporters understand the economy

    • Emily Barnell Mixay

      How can his supporters understand the economy when even he doesn’t understand it?! LOL

      • Michael G DiFrancesco

        ok lets try Romney’s trickel down economics. That worked great the first time W tried it.

  • sybilll

    Oh noes, Mitt discusses the desperation of people living in a communist country. Bring on the shackles.

  • Thom Harris

    And if you work for CNN you didn’t report that, unless it’s a lie. Just once I would like to see a real journalist. Lately, I see nothing but pretty boys and twinkiees that can only read from a teleprompter.

  • J. Cox

    If he is a fact checker..then I am going to perform brain surgery tomorrow..not that we both lied on our job apps.

  • Robert Hoover

    The boy wonder. Tell me why he gives opinion on anything when he is so so stupid. Remember he doesn’t like the constitution because it’s really old and stuff. Idiot.

  • chrisc72

    Why can’t anyone hide a camera in a room occupied by Obama. I’d love to hear what the Commander-In-Deceit says behind closed doors.

  • tjp77

    It’s a shame that Obama wants to remove these opportunities and make us more like China.

  • stuckinIL4now

    I saw this video about 3 weeks ago, even before the RNC, I think. What rock has Ezra Klein been hiding under cuz he’s way late on this scoop. This thing isn’t just old news, in today’s fleeting news cycle it’s ancient. What a crack (addled) journalist he is!

  • ZoriahShepard

    He should write novels. He’s very creative.

  • Derelictus

    Would naysayers prefer multinational firms not have any plants in developing countries like China? Fact is that they usually pay at least twice the minimum wage of the nations they locate in and gradually improve working conditions through economic and technological efficiency. Not trying to moralize here but you could easily make the moral argument that NOT having factories in such countries is depriving the natives of jobs that are often infinitely better than whatever they were forced into previously (agricultural work, prostitution etc.), and is thus an immoral action. Of course I’m certainly not saying there shouldn’t be labor organizations and watchdog groups for these work environments, although you always wonder about some of those organizations’ biases and true intentions.

  • vino veritas

    Isn’t this the same video that was already outed as a fake? It was posted on a fake webpage doctored to look like it belonged to Rachael Maddow before she went online and confirmed she had not posted it and had nothing to do with it. She claimed to be working with authorities looking into the source but the story went dead after that. Anyone know what happened?

    • Corrie Seames Caldwell

      My guess is: She did post it. She got busted lying. She said she work with authorities to find out who did it. My guess is she is at the OJ “search for the real killers” Simpson golf course, playing with Obama who is looking for the guys who killed our embassador.

  • Dandapani

    Apple has thousands of jobs in China so what is Klein’s point which he probably typed on his Airbook.

    • Tom

      sorry , I got to typing and then hit post before I read yours, just so pissed this morning, the Arab countries have declared war on the US and all this adnmin can do is cripple our free speech rights, read UN Res 1618, Sharia Law coming to a city near you

      • Dandapani

        That’s ok, Tom. The Arab Spring is burning down American Interests while OUR Nero fiddles with the starz. It is a crime. Not the first THIS administration has committed. BO must GO!

        • Sara

          That is a quote to be remembered. I’d tweet it and credit you, but we might both be indefinitely detained for speaking/expressing our opinions!

  • Guest

    You know what kills me about this protest? There were a big 500 people and it’s International news. Does anyone realize that Sydney is a really big city in a really big country and all they could get together was 500 people?

  • Yvonne

    Perhaps Klein is an Alinskyite

  • JGoldstein62

    Let him keep on talking. The MSLSD freaks continue to demonstrate how off the wall they are. Besides, only the left loons watch that crap.

  • Bruce Creech

    So what is the purpose of the video? Who put the fence up? What the crap. Give me a break!

  • Dave Leffingwell

    MSNBC is a freaking joke. Should be taken off the air.

    • Garth Haycock

      No, an a opposing view – no matter how idiotic it is – is what makes this country great. To take those clowns off the air is something that Obama and his ilk would do.

      • TallDave

        Or, the free market.

    • BruceMichaelGrant

      No, it’s a freaking circus. Should be renamed.
      Call it, ‘Jerks du Soleil’.

  • Wesley Leach

    You’ve spent 50,000 for this”film”and for what? Ha ha ha!

  • RHale

    Ezra Klein, What that speech said was that in fact Romney was appalled at the conditions of the work place, he first thought the guards was to keep the workers in, then found out that these were people wanted to be there, and that lines of people waited on jobs…And at the rate of this Obama administration we are going to be just like China workers…waiting in line for a job. I’m all in for Romney 2012

  • Alex Loggins

    I am the citizen. I built it all.

  • Francis Czekalski

    I do not see this add as bad he is clearly making and observation hell I travel to india to look at IT shops and I see the same things am I bad ?

  • Tom

    and Apple making 47 millions I phone is a city in China where the suicide rate is 8 time the national average is not slave labor

  • hathraswallah

    What is wrong with you Ezra , your buddy the Chris Mathews who sees racism every where and he is so stupid that ——-. Hire a doctor to look after you collectively. You think Obama is Competent to be President and take a survey at MSNBC too.

  • LaSantaHermandad

    Here’s the REAL American dilemma. This and the crime rate are something that Romney SHOULD be addressing. Even he’s afraid to bring it up. I wonder if Nancy Pelosi’s daughter is going to vote for BHO.

  • Michael Stohler

    It just goes to show how out of touch these people are that they can not comprehend the what was meant by Romney’s words….

    • Michael Stohler

      Either that or they are just deceiving their audience… If this were true then they must really have a low opinion of their audience to believe them stupid enough to buy it,,,,

  • Mary Kilbride

    I may not have gotten it correctly, but I thought he was pointing out the difference between here and there. How it is in China, where people are so desperate to work, compared with the opportunity we have here. Sad. That is the way we are headed under Obama and so many Americans are just so in the tank. Seriously. I can’t imagine what it is that causes them to continue to support him. I just don’t. There has got to be something that I am missing.

  • TruthBeTold

    He’s reaching for something negative that just isn’t there.

  • alvin691

    A) You have the left desperate to reproduce O’Keefe’s videos they can’t stand it. B) You can tell by the disgust in his voice the way the women were being treated. C) It was the other partner in Bain that said what he was repeating. Klein did not separate properly what the partner said and when Romney was giving his opinion.

  • Patrick L

    Ezra Klein I have four words for you… I’m voting for Romney!

  • ric

    I don’t get it? that is how things are done in China. And Mitt thinks America is great!!! WTF is so horrible about that. If companies did not outsource to China your Mac would cost twice what it does now. If you want to blame someone you can blame Clinton for that he is responsible for NAFTA.

  • Terry Australis

    Jobs at Bain are in demand because working conditions in China are generally really, really bad. Foreign companies tend to give workers better conditions. In the long run, this competition will improve conditions for all Chinese workers as the businesses compete with each other to get the best workers.

    For example, I read about deaths in Chinese mines operated by foreign-owned companies, and these companies are criticized. But you look at the statistics, Chinese-owned mines have a much worse death rate. Miners will die. It’s a dangerous job. The risks can be reduced, and foreign-owned companies are doing that. The Westerners care more about their labourers’ LIVES than the Chinese do. You just can’t escape that.

  • drkangel

    For those who have never been to, lived in, or have friends and relatives in China it is easy to believe the lies spread by those who want to lie to you about life and reality in China. My wife is Chinese, we own a house in China, my relatives are Chinese, and I have a lot of friends in China. The facts are that American companies going to China elevated wages and the standard of living in China. American companies pay on average higher wages and provide better living conditions than the majority of Chinese companies. The American government asked China to purchase our debt and to allow American companies into China. China has not stolen anything from America. Go to China and see for yourself. Stop believing the lies from politicians and news media that want to demonize China to the gullible American public.


    Ezra, do you remember when you were ‘boy genius’ at the publication at which you were employed? And then, you got the gig at MSNBC to fill in for other serial liars? And remember when you first decided to be a pathetic, lying, self-loathing journalist? I don’t remember that, but the incredible character and reputation you have now…Well, you built that! Congrats, little fella.

  • Gladys Crump

    Romney was saying yes we have it so special here (in America) that we are sharing it with the world. What idiot could’nt get that last sentence, they were talking about how your life was set for you if you lived in America, then Romney said “Yes what we have here is so special and so unique we are sharing it with the world” Duh

    • michaels

      Yeah. And whether you agree with Klein or not, he is no dummy. He gets it and agrees with Romney on this. So do I. KLein is simply stating that individuals don’t build things on their own. They are build it because of hard work and because of the society in which they live. BTW: That was the same point Obama was making. So…Romney, Obama, Klein are all in agreement that America is better than China. Where they differ is that Obama and Klein say that because America is better, individuals are MORE successful than in China.

  • Marissa Martinez

    It’s equal opportunity, not equal results. You can fix ignorance not stupidity, so we’ll vote it out Nov 6th.

    • michaels

      Actually both Obama and Romeny agree with your point that it is equal opportuniyt not equal results. OBama simply goes a little further and says that, in America we are more successful when we ensure equal opportunity…after that is up to the individual. Judging by Mitt’s statements in the video about China, Mitt also understands this and agrees. Communism sucks the life out of the population. The structure of a society matters! People are not succesful on their own. Individuals didn’t ‘build it on their own’. They built becuase they happen to live in a country like America is structured in a way to provide equal opportunity for anyone willing to work hard enough to be successful.

  • Joe

    Only a progressive would look at this as some dig against Romney when Romney was giving great compliments to America and all who built it. The progressives see the words and think, es, why is America so much greater than the rest of the world and how can we even it up a little? Take us down some as opposed to taking us up even further where we can help the rest even more. America has not helped the world in the past as much as we did because we were poor and weak. Only when we are rich and strong can we help others.

    • michaels

      Fail! I know conservatives and liberals (progressives) that are proud of America…and rightfully so. Read Ezra Klein’s article. He was not taking a dig at Romney. He was actually agreeing with him. Klein was only stating that Romney must also understand the canard, “you didn’t build that’. Because it DOES matter where you were born. America is better than China. And because it is… smart and hard working people are MORE successful here. You cannot have it both ways… that was Klein’s argument. Just stop for a moment and THINK about the argument being made by Klein before rushing to your stereotypes of what ‘progressives’ think about America.

  • michaels

    What are you talking about? I watched the video. I used your link to read Klein’s post. There wasn’t a critique about Romeny in Klein’s post. His critique was that, yes, we are blessed to live in this country. Because we live in such a blessed country, people can be successful beyond other countries wildest dreams. Klein’s critique was against the red herring of “you didn’t build that”. And it is a valid critique. Our country is built in such a way as to reward entreprenuership.

  • michaels

    What are you talking about? I watched the video. I used your link to read Klein’s post. There wasn’t a critique about Romeny in Klein’s post. His critique was that, yes, we are blessed to live in this country. Because we live in such a blessed country, people can be successful beyond other countries wildest dreams. Klein’s critique was against the red herring of “you didn’t build that”. And it is a valid critique. Our country is built in such a way as to reward entreprenuership.

  • michaels

    OMG. Ezra Klein was NOT complaining about Mitt Romney! Read his post as linked in this article. He was simply pointing out that, just like Mitt said in the video, America is different and better than China. KLEIN AGREES WITH YOU AND WITH MITT ON THIS!
    What Klein was critiquing was the ‘you didn’t build that’ argument of the Republican Party. Quite frankly, Klein is right. People are not successful on their own. Being smart and hard working is NECESSARY but not SUFFICIENT. Klein is simply saying that in this country we are lucky because people who are smart and work hard have the opportunity to be successful because of the way this country works. America is a beautiful place. Our schools, community values, laws, and infrastructure enable smart and hard working people to be successful….unlike China.
    Klein was calling out that Romney agrees with him. Klein is calling out common ground with Mitt that America is a special place that allows people who work hard to succeed. Klein is only calling bullsh*t on those that think you can be successful anywhere under any circumstances. How you structure a country matters.
    I am an independent and don’t believe lies told to me by Democrats or Republicans. But this whole article by Twitchy which seeks to inflame people by stating an argument NEVER made by Klein is unethical. That so many commenters here took the bait and ran with it is truly scary.
    There are GOOD Americans that disagree. Let’s not demonize folks. Most of us want what is best for America. Lying about each other’s positions is no way to build common ground.

  • TallDave

    OTOH, Ezra Klein was born in America, and look how that turned out.