BOCA RATON, Fla. -- When Mitt Romney came to Boca Raton -- the site of tonight's debate -- last May, he regaled a private fundraiser with a tale from his time in China, when he and a Bain Capital colleague went to inspect a factory he was considering purchasing. The conditions he found there shocked him, but he turned it into an uplifting story, noting that the factory's barbed wire was -- according to their tour guide, at least -- in place not to keep the young women locked in, but to keep desperate job seekers locked out.
It was that portion of Romney's talk that so profoundly affected one man in the room, moving him to upload the comments on YouTube and ultimately release the video that is now known by just a number: 47 percent.
HuffPost met up with the clandestine filmmaker on Monday, and asked him what thoughts he had going into the foreign policy debate.
"Romney has been talking about getting tough on China lately. From what I heard at the dinner, he's more interested in getting tough on the young Chinese girls at his sweatshop," the man said, continuing to request anonymity. "Unless we stand up for those girls in China, our mothers, sisters and daughters here are doomed to the same fate. Just ask the Sensata workers. If he could get rid of the unions, he would have no problem paying U.S. workers a 'pittance,' stacking them three high, 12 to a room. Romney is dangerously out of touch with the struggles of hard-working Americans."
Sensata is a reference to a Bain Capital-owned factory in Illinois. Bain is closing the plant, laying off the workers, and shipping production to China. The factory is scheduled to close for good in early November, and the American workers were asked to train their Chinese replacements.
Romney himself has profited handsomely from Sensata Technologies through his ongoing investment with Bain. The workers have pleaded with Romney to intervene; he has so far declined to do so.
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<a href="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/10/culture-of-fraud/">The Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote</a> in a New York Times blog post in August: "Romney’s tax plan is now a demonstrated fraud — big tax cuts for the rich that he claims would be offset by closing loopholes, but the Tax Policy Center has demonstrated that the arithmetic can’t possibly work."
Matt Taibbi, contributing editor to Rolling Stone, <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/the-vice-presidential-debate-joe-biden-was-right-to-laugh-20121012">wrote in a recent blog post </a>: "If you're going to offer an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut without explaining how it's getting paid for, hell, why stop there? Why not just offer everyone over 18 a 1965 Mustang? Why not promise every child a Zagnut and an Xbox, or compatible mates for every lonely single person?"
Harvard economist Larry Summers, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/larry-summers-romney-tax-plan_n_1958982.html">recently compared Mitt Romney's tax plan</a> to a hamburger and ice cream diet. He said: "It’s easy to say that 'My plan is to eat ice cream sundaes and chocolate cake and hamburgers as much as I want, my plan is to lose 60 pounds, and my plan is to avoid painful exercise, and those are all my objectives and I'm committed to every one of them.'"
The Tax Policy Center
<a href="http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=1001628">The Tax Policy Center</a>, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/romney-tax-plan-middle-class_n_1874113.html">recently concluded</a> that Mitt Romney's tax plan is mathematically impossible without raising taxes on the middle class.
<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-12/the-final-word-on-mitt-romney-s-tax-plan.html">Bloomberg View columnist Josh Barro wrote</a> in a recent column that the six studies that the Romney campaign uses to claim the candidate's tax plan is mathematically possible "individually and collectively...fail the task."
<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/10/12/1004921/zandi-romney-tax-plan/">Mark Zandi</a>, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, recently said on CNN that when it comes to Romney's tax plan, "the arithmetic doesn't work as it is right now."
<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/04/romney-tax-plan-on-table-debt-collapses-table/">Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein wrote in August</a> that "the Tax Policy Center’s analysis has removed all doubt" that Romney's tax plan is mathematically impossible.
<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/11/vice-presidential-debate-live-blog.html">David Frum</a>, contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, recently wrote: "Romney's tax cut plan doesn't work. I'm a Republican, I support Romney, etc. But you can't cut that much in such a stagnant economy and expect to break even. Even with a deductions cap, it just won't happen."
Catherine Rampell, economics reporter at The New York Times, wrote of the <a href="http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/the-math-on-the-romney-ryan-tax-plan/">the Romney campaign's tax promises</a> in a recent blog post: "Not <em>all</em> of those principles can coexist so long as basic arithmetic survives."