Mitt Romney is depicted as a financier “more ruthless than Wall Street” and a son of privilege responsible for laying off thousands of workers in a 28-minute film bankrolled by supporters of Newt Gingrich set to be released tomorrow in South Carolina.
The film, obtained by Bloomberg News, attacks Romney’s record as the chief executive officer of Bain Capital LLC, a private-equity firm. It highlights the stories of workers who lost their jobs after the companies they worked for were acquired by Bain.
“Make a profit,” a laughing Romney is shown saying in the film. “That’s what it’s all about, right?”
Romney tonight won the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election, the Associated Press projected, giving him victories in the first two nominating contests. The race now turns to South Carolina, which holds a primary Jan. 21.
Entitled “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” the film produced by Jason Killian Meath, a former Republican National Committee aide, is being funded by Winning Our Future, an organization run by longtime aides to Gingrich. Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and a Gingrich supporter, has given Winning Our Future $5 million to help air the film in South Carolina, which holds its presidential primary election on Jan. 21.
“It’s absolutely brutal in its depiction of the activities of Bain Capital under Governor Romney,” said Stephen K. Bannon, a conservative filmmaker and radio host who said he had no connection to the Romney film.
Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker, interviewed Barry Bennett, a supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry who commissioned the film, on his show at KABC Radio in Los Angeles.
“It wouldn’t be an issue except for the fact that Governor Romney’s made it the central part of this thesis for why he should be elected,” Bannon said.
The film focuses on four companies acquired by Bain that later suffered difficulties or filed for bankruptcy -- UniMac, KB Toys Inc., America Pad & Paper or Ampad, and DDI Corp., an electronics company.
A procession of purported fired workers describe their struggles to cope with the ensuing job losses.
An unnamed woman describes in the film how she lost her home after she says she was fired by Ampad and had to pack her belongings into a moving truck. The identities of the people portrayed could not be immediately independently verified.
In his presidential campaign appearances, Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has cited jobs created by the private-equity firm where he worked for 25 years.
Romney has stated that, while some business ventures failed, a net gain of 100,000 jobs were created by Bain’s successes. Neither the Romney campaign nor Bain provided data to support that figure.
The interview with the purportedly fired worker is juxtaposed with a clip of Romney saying, “For an economy to thrive, there are a lot of people who will suffer as a result of that.”
Others depicted in the film include a woman describing how she was fired when eight months pregnant, a mother who had difficulties feeding her family after her alleged job-loss and several women who lost homes to foreclosure. Throughout the film, Romney and Bain are presented as having caused, and profited from, their hardships.
“Under Romney, Bain was making billions,” a narrator says. “At the same time, contributing to the greatest American job-loss since World War II.”
“It is sad when any American loses their job,” Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney’s presidential campaign, said in a statement responding to the film. “Under President Obama, 25 million Americans are out of work, under-employed or have stopped looking for work. It’s puzzling to see Speaker Gingrich and his supporters continue their attacks on free enterprise.
‘‘This is the type of criticism we’ve come to expect from President Obama and his left-wing allies at Moveon.org,” Saul said. “Unlike President Obama and Speaker Gingrich, Mitt Romney spent his career in business and knows what it will take to turn around our nation’s bad economy.”
The film also depicts Romney as “rich beyond imagination” and out of touch with most Americans as a result of his wealth. Two of Romney’s homes are featured, described as “a $3 million home in New Hampshire with a private beach and a $12 million beach-front property in California.”
A woman is shown claiming that Romney has “15 homes,” although recent public reports indicate that Romney currently has three homes.
Twice in the film, Romney is also shown speaking in French. The two-time presidential aspirant was a Mormon missionary in France as a young man.
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