Romney's profit 'harvest' in latest video from Mother Jones
September 28th, 2012
10:24 AM ET
2 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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The "Stench" is looking worse and worse everyday. Mittens may be rich, but he represents what is wrong with corporate greed.

    September 28, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Ha...some PAC needs to fire up an ad using imagery of a wheat thresher.

    September 28, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Jan

    Romney is no "JOB CREATOR". As the video/article above clearly shows "HE/BAIN WERE HARVESTORS OF COMPANIES". Staple and one or two other companies happened to be CLEARLY AND ALMOST UNIQUELY sound companies within there own right (needing only investments). Romney/Bain saw the potential of these companies and let them ESCAPE HARVESTING, STAPLES BEING ONE OF THESE COMPANIES. Because of Staples creating a BUNCH OF MINIMUM WAGE AND OR PART-TIME JOBS...ON PAR WITH JOBS AT MCDONALDS OR BURGER KING, Romney continues to toot himself a "JOB CREATOR", and therefore qualified to be President. This reminds me of a commercial I've seen. I can't remember whether its for doctors, insurance or some other medicinal product, but the commercial shows people trying to medicate themselve...do a job for which they are not qualified for...THAT IS MITT ROMNEY ALL THE WAY...IN THE RACE FOR THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES...A JOB FOR WHICH HE IS NOT QUALIFIED FOR!!!

    September 28, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. TomGI

    Does he admit how he got started at Bain? His connection to John Hanley the former CEO of Monsanto?

    September 28, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. SaintM

    Spin, Romney Camp, Spin, spin as fast as you can. It won't do you any good, I knew what he was about before the primaries.

    Mitt Romney is a lying, untrustworthy, arrogant plutocratic stooge. Stooges aren't supposed to be presiident, they are supposed to be smacked around and have things thrown at them. Here's to a pie in your face, Romney.

    September 28, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Democrat Party

    What is wrong with investing... That is the whole concept to risk YOUR money and maximize your profits.

    The misery of what these last four years should not be the norm. Democrat wants to spread misery to everyone. Like they say "misery loves company." The democrat misery party wants everyone to be miserable except the ruling democrat rich like Pelosi and Reid. Ask the crooked Reid to return his high profit criminal Nevada land deals.

    September 28, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Tim

    So, you invest money into a failing business for 6-8 years, help it grow, and at the end of the long term investment, you can hopefully see a return on your investment.

    Think people see 'harvest' and they think of harvesting corn, where you cut down the plant, and take everything, when it is more like harvesting apples, where you take the fruits of the years of labor planting/caring for the tree, but you only take the fruit in a manor that will keep the tree living and producing fruit.

    September 28, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Mr. Moderate

    So if Bain had such great success in creating jobs how come the campaign is not running commercials to counter the one where the guy talks about building a stage for the announcement that Bain is closing his plant. If they created all these jobs, there must be hundreds of people who would be willing to talk about how Bain saved their job or made it possible to succeed. Where are they?

    But this video illustrates one of Mitt's challenges – he tried to frame himself as a job creating CEO as a candidate. That is not was Bain does. The generate profits for their investors. If that means building a company and selling it, or striping it of its assets it doesn't matter the goal is not creating jobs, but profits.

    September 28, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. RS, CA

    Most likely the Carter grandson twit stole this Mother Jones video, too. Nice job raising your family, Jimmy Carter! Up yours, Mother Jones and CNN - clearly in another pact to get Obama elected (won't happen!). CNN did the same thing in 2008. Shame on you!

    September 28, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    That's what this type of firm does. They invest, for a high rate of return. Not really much different from banks in that regard.

    September 28, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Amniculi

    You would think by now that it would be clear to everyone that RMoney is unelectable.

    September 28, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Ivo

    If I was the Romney campaign director I would hang myself.

    September 28, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. lolo

    Romneyhood is not ready people. Thank you America for waking up. Get out the vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. achepotler

    I trust Romney...the more food we pile on his and Calista's table, the more crumbs will fall off for us....plus his Mormon faith willcomfort us when he harvests America's profits.

    September 28, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. kim

    proof positive once again of who, what this man really is. Is NOT qualified to even be a candidate for the Presidency, let alone hold the office,ROBme's only goal is to get the title, that's it.
    On the other video that shows what such a slime ball he is bashing half of america, there was another revealing potionas well. That Mitt thinks if he gets elected, that america will have so much confidence, just because he's the Prez(could he be anymore conceited)that the economy will fix itself, that "he wouldn't have to even do anything"

    September 28, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. bob

    He may have meant 'harvest' to be 'reap the rewards' but there are too many companies that he raided and closed to make that response iron clad. There are too many little stinkers he has said that are now adding up to one big pile of dung.

    September 28, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. norhetoric

    "Harvesting," nice! In this case it's kind of like a "legitimate" rape. Get into a company, load it up with debt, pay yourselves out of the loans they took, bankrupt the company, and walk away fatter and richer.

    September 28, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. onlyfacts

    The government in America is supposed to be a government of the people. Obama IS trying to govern for the people. Its who he is and what he has demonstrated since he was in college. Facts show Romney's philosophy is the exact opposite. This new video and the 47% video are concrete undeniable evidence of this. His remarks about health care reform on the national level are evidence of this. The ONLY reason half of America dislike Obama and like Romney is because Fox and Rush told them to. They have no clue that they are being brainwashed. Imagine this country without Fox and Rush. Consumer confidence would go up and the Republican party would have to gain some sanity. Its funny how these conservatives can see a video and still dispute its accuracy. They are idiots! We will here more of their baseless, copycat talking points on this blog. I'd challenge any Obama haters to post some facts, but the poor fools don't know what that means.

    September 28, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. Sniffit

    "Profit is not a bad word unless you happen to subscribe to Communist economic theory.'

    Yawn. Nobody said it was. It's HOW THE PROFIT IS MADE that is in question. Thank you for attempting to distract from the real issue with another straw man argument so I could highlight how irrelevant it is.

    September 28, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. lolo

    @RLA they put that movie out there for you crackpot right wing nuts, because they knew you would believe every word of it, but when it comes to Romneyhood you can't see the forest for the trees. We are not mad you, go ahead and vote for the vulture capitalist.

    September 28, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Delaware

    There is no such red line; the real red line is the American economy and we need to put our people back to work and help fight poverty. Wars bring more poverty and more bad economy and plus we do not have the money. We need to stop that nonsense because that guy Netanyahu is a manupilator that is trying to manupilate our politics and citizens. What don't he go to Europe and make his claim there to France, Germany and Great Britain because I am sure that they are superpower too. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon but US cannot do this along because I am sure that issue is a global threat.
    Mitt Romney and his campaign is so arrogant and now they are down play the polls as inaccurate and also said that the president support is the 47% percent and that group do not vote and they are mostly minorities wo never vote. Let us prove them wrong and get out in big number and vote November six and if you live in states where they are require ID, make sure that you have your ID because that ID thing cannot stop us. They want ID go make one.
    Mitt hide the money overseas so he does not pay US taxes. Where your money is that is where your heart is.

    September 28, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Jon

    There's two main points of this video – neither of which are helpful to the candidate:

    1) Bain was out to "harvest profits" – NOT to create jobs. Private equity often swoops in, cuts wages and benefits or totally outsources the jobs to foreign countries, then sells off at profit in 5-8 years. Not looking for long term growth.

    2) Mitt admits and realizes it often takes 5-8 years to successfully reorganize a company. So why does he think Obama should be able to re-organize our economy in less than 4 years? Sounds like Obama needs another term to help right this ship.

    September 28, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Al-NY,NY

    "Harvest..." "It's people!! Soylent Green is people!!"

    September 28, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. To tell the truth

    holy yikes.. who is a vulture capitalist now?

    September 28, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. R

    The picture becomes clearer and clearer as to what kind of a successful business man Mitt is and how he goes about making his millions. He scares me as a senior citizen, part of the 47% along with his sidekick Ryan. America if they do not scare you there is something wrong – our President is on the right road and is more concerned about us working people, whether it is our nations security, or our health care and quality of life. I believe too he is equally concerned about the future of our grandchildren. He may not have been doing things with Bain that were illegal, but they sure stink – like small towns that have start up business and then someone comes in buys them out, may or may not relocate both the execs and the business and the enterprising industry is lost to places like China, Taiwan, or India. Maybe it is legal, but it sure does not help this country out – where is his sacrifice? And we should reward R&R with the White House with this type of thinking. My choice is clear for sure....and it is not who think of themselves first and America as an after thought.

    September 28, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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