Romney Video for Bain Describes Plans to ‘Harvest’ Firms

Mother Jones, the magazine that published a secretly-made tape of Mitt Romney’s May remarks to donors, released another video yesterday that shows the Republican nominee in 1985 characterizing Bain Capital LLC as a partnership created to invest in companies, help manage them and “harvest them at a significant profit.”

Mother Jones said the video was on a 1998 CD-ROM marking the 25th anniversary of Bain & Co., the consulting firm that Romney left to co-found Bain Capital.

President Barack Obama’s campaign responded with a statement from Randy Johnson, a former worker at American Pad & Paper, a Marion, Indiana-based company once owned by Bain that closed in 1995.

“Romney’s business experience was never about creating jobs,” Johnson said. “Romney’s own words prove that his focus was putting profits before people from the very beginning.”

Ryan Williams, a Romney campaign spokesman, said in an e-mailed response that Romney’s work at Bain resulted in job creation.

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

New Poll

The latest videotape release creates a new distraction less than a week before his first debate against Obama.

The president is leading Romney in the swing state of New Hampshire and runs narrowly ahead of him in North Carolina and Nevada, according to polls released last night.

Those results are in line with other recent surveys showing Obama with the edge in states that strategists in both parties say will decide who wins the White House on Nov. 6, the so-called swing states which have a history of voting for either major political party and the eight to 10 battlegrounds which the president and his challenger are actively contesting.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll shows Obama ahead among likely voters in New Hampshire, 51 percent to 44 percent, and with 2-point edges in Nevada, 49 percent to 47 percent, and North Carolina, 48 percent to 46 percent.

The results for Nevada and North Carolina are within the margin of error for the surveys of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The three states together account for 25 of the 270 electoral votes required to win the White House.

Change Dynamic

Romney “needs to change the whole dynamic,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute of Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York. “Right now, the trends are not going his way.”

At a fundraiser at the Union League Club in downtown Philadelphia, Romney said his race in Pennsylvania is uphill. He’s also been trailing Obama in public polls in the state.

“We really would shock people if early in the evening of Nov. 6, it looked like Pennsylvania was going to come our way,” he told a couple of hundred donors at a breakfast fundraiser in an ornate hall at the club.

The Republican nominee has struggled to re-set his campaign after the Sept. 17 publication by Mother Jones of the May video in which he tells a gathering of donors in Florida that 47 percent of Americans are “victims” dependent on federal largesse who won’t vote for him.

Obama has led in the nine swing states surveyed by the Marist Institute for NBC News and the Journal since the end of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this month.

Colorado, Iowa

In five of the nine -- Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin and now New Hampshire -- Obama’s support has been at 50 percent or more. Along with North Carolina and Nevada, the other states where the polling has shown him ahead with less than 50 percent support are Florida and Virginia.

In Ohio, without which no Republican has won the White House, a CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll taken Sept. 18-24 showed Obama ahead of Romney, 53 percent to 43 percent, among likely voters. The CBS/Times survey also put Obama ahead in Florida, the largest battleground state, 53 percent to 44 percent.

In the latest Bloomberg National Poll, Obama leads Romney among likely voters, 49 percent to 43 percent, even as 60 percent of Americans say the nation is headed off on the wrong track as the president completes his first term.

The Bloomberg poll found that 49 percent of likely voters consider Romney out of touch, compared with 40 percent who say that of Obama. The telephone survey of 1,007 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, was conducted Sept. 21-24.