Romney's profit 'harvest' in latest video from Mother Jones
September 28th, 2012
10:24 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney's profit 'harvest' in latest video from Mother Jones

(CNN) – The left-leaning publication that posted the secretly-recorded videos of Mitt Romney that included his controversial "47%" comments is online with a new, older video where the GOP candidate describes a mission to "harvest" small businesses while at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded.

Mother Jones posted video taken in 1985 of Romney describing how the his firm was formed and the company's goal to buy stakes in start-up businesses, manage them for between five and eight years and then "harvest them at a significant profit."

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"Bain Capital is an investment partnership which was formed to invest in startup companies and on-going companies, then to take an active hand in managing them and hopefully, five to eight years later, to harvest them at a significant profit," said Romney in the video posted to Mother Jones' website Thursday.

While campaigning, Romney has touted jobs created as a result of his time as founder and CEO of Bain Capital, buying and managing various smaller companies. The latest video, however, suggests a different objective for the companies-a means to generate profit.

Mother Jones said the latest video was part of a CD-ROM compiled in 1998 celebrating the 25th anniversary of Bain & Company, the parent company to Romney's private equity firm.

Mother Jones posted the first video earlier this month, which showed Romney speaking candidly to a group of top-dollar donors at a private fund-raiser in May about the "47%" of Americans he said who would automatically vote for President Barack Obama because they are dependent on government and consider themselves "victims," among other controversial comments.

"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said in one of the previously posted clips that generated a firestorm of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. "There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

Democrats took off with Romney's "47%" comments using the footage in political ads to criticize the Republican presidential hopeful for writing off nearly half of the American population.

Romney responded to the criticism saying that he cares for "100%" of Americans and admitted his remarks were "not elegantly stated," though ultimately defending the crux of his argument.

"We have a very different approach – the president and I – between a government-dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams," Romney said at a press conference with reporters after the secretly recorded fund-raiser videos were posted.

The Romney campaign responded to the latest video asserting that Romney's tenure with the company helped save jobs at struggling companies.

"In addition to starting new businesses, Mitt Romney helped build Bain Capital by turning around broken companies, creating and saving thousands of jobs. The problem today is that President Obama hasn't been able to turn around our economy in the same way," said Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg.

In May, Obama also took Romney to task for his time at Bain Capital saying his Republican opponent's experience in the private sector does anything but qualify him for the White House.

"When you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot," the president said during a press conference at the NATO summit in Chicago.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Bain Capital • Mitt Romney
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Romney describing how THE HIS firm was formed and the company's goal to buy stakes in start-up businesses, manage them for between five and eight years and then "harvest them at a significant profit."

    Nice typo. "THE HIS." What happened CNN...couldn't decide whether to call it "HIS firm" like it truth OR to call it "THE firm" to help him whitewash his ownership of its activities?

    September 28, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. kevin

    This is the same business model Pauli used in Goodfellas. Buy into a up debt and then bust it out.

    September 28, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Indy

    At least Mother Jones does investigative reporting. CNN just steals murdered state department diaries and publishes them while his family protest. CNN is nothing anymore, just another FAUX lite arm of the GOP

    September 28, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Sniffit

    Farmer Mittens' chickens are coming home to roost. REAP WHAT YOU'VE SOWN.

    September 28, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. rla

    Go see the movie 2016 to see something really scary!

    September 28, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. ThinkAgain: Mittens' 47% ... Veterans, grandma and the disabled are all moochers!

    The choice couldn't be simpler: Mittens would "harvest" our country; President Obama has shown through actions and words that he would continue to invest in OUR country and OUR people, for the betterment of 100% of Americans.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    September 28, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. AL

    Romney was a great businessman for himself. He can make select individuals such as hisself rich, but at the expense of the common person. He says we should be thankful for the job creators. But is he showing thanks to the line workers that give up a higher percentage of their total income. Remember, without the common worker makining the product, they cannot make a profit. I am just as important as they are. Romney will not get my vote. OBAMA 2012 is the best choice for the average person trying to make ends. Romneys policies will make the rich more wealthy and give the common worker false hope while struggling to make ends meet.

    September 28, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. rla

    PS Obama has made life harder for 100% of the country and the idea of a fair shot is now ancient history because a fair shot use to mean from your work and now it means a government handout!

    September 28, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. bob

    Does this surprise anyone? Romney is only interested in profits. That is the only reason he wants the presidency – to cut taxes for himself and his buddies.

    September 28, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Keep us all on our heels...

    Hey Karl Rove.. Look what you taught the Democrats? Does it make you feel proud? Do you think you have made elections and campaigns better by introducing these kind of tactics. Have you called or talked to your former aid who went to prison while protecting you?

    September 28, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. rs

    Hardly a surprise that Mr. Romney was in this business not to help companies, but to milk them dry.

    September 28, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. chill

    I'm no Romney fan and won't be voting for him. But the paragraph you cite is as good a description of the Venture Capital industry as a whole as any. That's what they ALL are trying to do. Without the harvest or sale of the companies, there is no return and thus no investors. It's not stock. It's a high risk investment that demands a high return. And the company owners are also seeking that same harvest themselves. Ideally the company is sold to a larger firm and prospers and grows, but since it is high risk, many don't survive despite the infusion of capital. No VC wants that to happen, but it's an accepted part of the industry and in those cases, the fund tries to recoup whatever return they can for their investors. Companies don't take VC or outside investments if they didn't need them to survive.

    September 28, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. Rick

    I'm not sure I like the idea of big business considering me a "crop"

    September 28, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Katie

    Are people seriously taking issue with this assertion? I worked for one of those companies that Bain Capital "Harvested" though it was after Romney's tenure. That is what the company did. They go to new or struggling companies, infuse them with cash (thus the name, Bain CAPITAL), and teach them how to be profitable businesses! Then when the company is on it's feet, and turning a profit, Bain would either sell it to other investors or help the company go public, and EVERYONE wins. Now, not every company can be turned around, but it is ridiculous to think that an investment capital firm would go into a company with the intent to destroy it and sell off the parts. There is no profit to be made there. Investment Capital groups such as Bain are meant to make money for their investors....bottom line. The best way to do that is to have a successful and growing company. The bi-product of a successful, growing company is the creation of JOBS!!! Which is exactly what Romney has said all along

    September 28, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Clearly "harvest" for companies means their end in jobs, pensions etc-In Romney's own words he IS a Vulture Capitalist just like everyone thought

    September 28, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Trevor

    Lets not forget Romney gutting kb toys. How many people did you kick out onto the street to make a quick buck. Unless you are rich or mentally disturbed, there is no reason for you to vote for Romney.
    All you could possibly expect from his presidency is for the republicans finish driving this country into the ground. Bush ( yes it is actually bush's fault) and the republicans probably did more damage to this country in eight years, than all other president combined. This country is, without a doubt, the biggest in joke in the world. And to all the folks who still insist on vomiting out the phrase "this is the greatest country on earth", you have extremely low expectations of what the greatest country should be.

    September 28, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. JIMpnw

    None Mitts business experience does not equal a good President. You can not be a C.E.O., of the USA BECAUSE ITS NOT ABOUT FIRING PEOPLE AND MAKING A PROFIT, and IS about everyone getting a fair shot.Your 47ers comment in it self should disqualify you and not being honest about your tax returns[show ten years of real tax returns and I will give you my vote for OBAMA, for the good of our great nation. Thats what AMERICANS DO . WE SACRIFICE.

    September 28, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Tesserazoa

    If corporations are people my friends, and Romney made a living harvesting corporations, you do the math.

    September 28, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Marry

    Somebody ask: “Is Romney going to "harvest the USA"? Is he hoping to win the election build up the USA and then sell it off? Don't think it can't happen.”
    Well, is it not funny how clearly and elegantly Romney can explain his plans to “his” people? Are you still wondering why he does not explain himself to the voter?
    Do not let the GOP steal the election!
    So, you’re registered? You got your voter ID ready? Talked to your family, friend’s neighbors? Then let’s get out and vote for the President and a strait Democratic ticket from the “outside” to get the GOP/TP and R+R out of the way so we can all thrive!!!

    September 28, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. MaryM

    Havesting profits is sucking the company dry of funds and firing American workers. Mitt, you will Never be President of the U.S.

    Obama 2012

    September 28, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitt Romney good business man but he not qualified for PTOUS

    September 28, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. rosco

    25 years ago and this is news?? how low will dems go?? this is just ridiculious, more sideshow by the inept one, what a joke

    September 28, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Four and The Door

    Mother Jones posted video taken in 1985 of Romney describing how the his firm was formed and the company's goal to buy stakes in start-up businesses, manage them for between five and eight years and then "harvest them at a significant profit."
    What part of this is supposed to be derogatory? I started a business myself using my life's savings and a mortgage on my house with the exact same intention. It's called an "Exit Strategy". Every business owner needs to have an exit strategy. It keeps the owner focused on building a business with value and growing the business so that the value at exit provides sufficient profit for retirement or whatever else the owner's long range plans include. Profit is not a bad word unless you happen to subscribe to Communist economic theory.

    September 28, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Boo

    I can't wait for Robme to try and weasel his way out of this..........

    September 28, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Bain Capital and Romney's Harvest of Shame, American companies bankrupted and looted for profit, hard working Americans forced onto the unemployment line, and jobs shipped overseas to China.

    September 28, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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