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. dog1

    TIm said: "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."
    Firing the workers, stealing (oops harvesting) their benefits and pensions and closing the plant while outsourcing the company to China (by Romneys own admission he bought chinese companies) IS NOT KEEPING A TREE THAT'S LIVING AND PRODUCING FRUIT! WAKE UP, ROMNEY BELIEVES FIRMLY IN LOW WAGE, NO BENEFITS WORKERS TO INCREASE CORPORATE PROFIT- IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT FOR AMERICA?

    September 28, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Lisa P

    "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.
    Except... Romney didn't start any new businesses; he invested in new businesses that other people were starting. There's a difference. And he and his partners were as likely to scrap and sell off a "broken" business for parts as to step in to fix it. For that matter, they were probably equally interested in *breaking* *up* otherwise healthy businesses that they thought were "undervalued" - i.e., the assets of the business were worth more than what the business could be bought for or what the business might make if it just kept on working as it was. It was all about making a profit for the investors and not at all about what was good for the company, the employees, the community or the country. In Romney's defense, this was a very common attitude at the time. On the other hand it's pretty clear, thirty years later, that he and his fellow profit-seekers have ended up by wrecking havoc on the U.S. economy, particularly the manufacturing sector. Which I have yet to hear him apologize for, or regret. And now he wants to do the same thing to the Federal government, which many of the victims of his profit-taking are now forced to rely on in order to make ends meet? No thanks. Obama 2012.

    September 28, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Surfer George

    HARVEST – a crop when you get the highest yield, often leaving the fields fallow to start over. – organs – when the patient is DEAD.

    I gotta say, if you'll still vote for Romney, admit that you are only doing so because it benifits you and that you don't care abot who it hurts.

    September 28, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Sniffit

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

    The GOP/Teatrolls have, in fact, been goaded into doing just that. It's been a bit of a conundrum trying to figure out why more bobblehead pundits on networks like CNN haven't been repeatedly and incredulously asking "how much rope DO they need?" over the past 4 years.

    September 28, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. rosemarie

    Romney absolutely created many jobs! Just ask the sweat shop workers in Asia and Bank tellars for off shore tax havens.

    September 28, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |

    David Corn is destroying Willard. Willard is the modern day Gordon Gecko. His motto is GREED!

    September 28, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. GI Joe

    At this point in time Romney has promised to make big earnings for his current investors: Adelson, the Koch brothers, Dick Armey, and a whole list of others. Not to mention going to war FOR BiBi and spending our money and getting our kids killed. HIS kids won't go. He'll send them to france to lure others into their cult.

    September 28, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. GI Joe

    Soylent Green is People.

    September 28, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Bart in Omaha

    Didn't everyone kind of know that this was the process? This should not surprise anyone, just listen to the things he says and you can see what his values are. He is all about the worshiping of wealth and power.

    September 28, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Mittens is elected, maybe he will sell those red nanny states who do not pay their fair share in taxes, to China. After all, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    September 28, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Sane in Maine

    Lots of us didn't need this video to understand who Romney is as he has been revealing his lack of principal and core beliefs for a long time now. He will do or say anything to get elected – even if he contridicts what he just said yesterday, which he does all the time (it's called "walking it back").

    This newly relased video and the 47% video only confirm what many Americans who haven't been paying attention to the antics of this political year are just finding out – that Romney is not a viable alternative to president Obama. It's not – "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"...which we actually are – but it's more like – Will you be better off with this shape changing politician Romney than with Obama, who is forthright and steady – even if you don't agree with him. Obama has a strong character and a gutsey determination and doesn't waiver. Romney – NO! Obama – YES!

    September 28, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Sleepless in Cali

    Did any of your Liberal fools read that the U.N. now wants to hit successful countries in the world (primarily the U.S.) by levying taxes on all kinds of goods and services in order to "distribute the wealth" globally? Thank you current U.S. twit-in-chief for this wonderful new version of "harvesting" going viral. With another Obama term, you idiots will cement the demise of the U.S. forever. THEN you can be happy!

    Romney-Ryan NOW!!!

    September 28, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. dog1

    Delaware: "Wars bring more poverty and more bad economy and plus we do not have the money" You are absolutely right, except for one thing, for "investors" like Romney, war is very profitable and very good for their personal economies! Why do you think Cheney was always smiling and laughing, Iraq

    September 28, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. kenny

    at least people will learn more about how people who have money operate... make more no matter what the cost in human capital... if you can pay workers slave wages, thats more profit.... if you can take away benefits... more profit... if you can lay people off, make current employees work harder longer for the same pay... more profit... CAPITALISM is good... NOT PERFECT... it needs BALANCE when the TOP can take advantage of the BOTTOM its NOT FAIR and when someone feels they are treated unfairly... they don't mind treating others unfairly and we breed a society of people doing "evil" onto others instead of "good" to the point of ro bbing, rap ing, and murd ering each other... .then we collapse and the greatest nation the world has ever known ends ... in the pursuit of profit ...

    September 28, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. rs

    This is the real problem with Mr. Romney. Yes, he is a successful businessman (albeit in a legal but dubious business). As a nation we have just crawled back from a giant recession caused because of people just LIKE Mr. Romney. It is precisely this behavior, these businesses that show (just in case Mr. Bush wasn't enough) that businessmen make lousy Presidents (and in the case of Romney, lousy candidates) and big business is no model for government.

    We cannot run America like some sort of giant corporation for wealthy Americans. As we see in the case of Bain Capital there were winners and losers. Romeny won, those "harvested" did not. Romney has already decided the 47% are fodder for himself and his rich cronies to exploit.

    Vote for Romney and you vote against yourself.

    September 28, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. W. Buffett

    For those of you that think it's ok to "invest money into a failing business", you have NO idea how Private Equity companies really operate. Their ONLY objective is profit and they make it by loading up the company with huge amounts of debt and paying the "investors" outrageous "dividends" from that debt. Do they care if they create jobs. NO. Do your research before you praise PE's.

    September 28, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Woman In California

    Willard is FINISHED and even he knows it by now. The guy has lived his entire life on the backs of "victims" who were hurt by his cruel self-serving deeds and to think anyone, would feel he has their best interest in mind now is beyond me. 'm just so glad his tyranny is coming to an end and the world will be a better place for it.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 28, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Jeff in TX

    This is round 2 in what will likely be a biweekly slow revelation of the skeletons in Romney's closet. Problem is the same as always (on either side) too little time to contest the facts, context, etc. Too much defense when the candidate should be playing offense. I expect to see at least 2 more of these skeletons before Election Day.

    September 28, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Jimm

    Nothing new here.

    September 28, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Name s kel

    amen to what rs wrote.

    September 28, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. drjmng

    C'mon CNN. This is a stretch. CNN is acting like a pro-Obama super PAC. Where is the report on Obama's "redistribution" video? Or better yet, where are the headlines on Benghazi-gate? What ever happened to objective journalism? Can't tell people the truth anymore because in doing so your favored candidate might lose?

    September 28, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Marty, FL

    Harvest companies, bankrupt for profit, and ship American jobs overseas–Romney/Bain way.

    September 28, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. SafeJourney

    MotherJones, thank you for another video exposing Romney for what he really is, a Vulture. Harvesting companies is sucking the life out of companies and people.

    September 28, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Simon Cohen

    Cartoon depiction of the "bomb" can't be taken seriously, it s laughable and certainly affects overall credibility of Bibi regarding Iranian threat. Remember presentation at UN regarding Iraqi WMD? That was much more credible but still false. The closest parallel to Bibi speech is Clint talking to a chair.

    September 28, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Ancient Texan

    Mother Jones....One question. Why would an investment company buy a FAILING company that is on the way out of business, if not to see if it is salvagable, does it have enough assests to allow it to break even if broken up, or if the assets could be used in other risky investments. There is no sin in what investment companies do and a lot of pluses when they succeed in saving a business and growing it to success.

    September 28, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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