During Mitt Romney’s Senate campaign 17 years ago, the Republican politician was faring quite well against Ted Kennedy, right up until voters started hearing from some of Romney’s victims.

To briefly review, Romney got very rich running a private-equity firm, Bain Capital, which broke up companies and laid off American workers. He had considerable success orchestrating leveraged buyouts, seeking taxpayer subsidies, flipping companies quickly for large profits, and making money for investors, even when the employees of those companies were deemed collateral damage.

In the 1994 campaign, this mattered. Many of Romney’s victims drove to Massachusetts to protest the Republican’s campaign, and Democrats put together a half-dozen ads featuring laid-off workers who said they suffered while Romney lined his pockets at their expense.

It proved effective in 1994, and Dems hope it will work again in 2012.

A former employee of Bain Capital, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney’s former company, said Sunday that Romney’s decisions cost him and many others their jobs.

Randy Johnson said Sunday that the former Massachusetts governor’s decisions as Bain’s CEO put him out of work.

Romney was the chief executive officer of Bain Capital in 1992 when the company purchased American Pad & Paper, or Ampad, and oversaw the management of that company and others.

Ampad went bankrupt in 2000, and investors netted over $100 million from the deal, according to the Boston Globe.

Johnson told reporters yesterday, “I really feel that he didn’t care about the workers. It was all about profit over people.”

For its part, the Romney campaign recently began arguing that critics of Bain Capital’s layoffs are borderline communists, trying to “put free enterprise on trial.”

Between this and Romney’s agenda — take away health care coverage from millions, tax breaks for the wealthy, free reign for Wall Street, more foreclosures — the “man of the people” routine may prove to be a tough sell.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.