Jon Stewart rips Romney on Bain, taxes
July 17th, 2012
10:46 AM ET
2 years ago

Jon Stewart rips Romney on Bain, taxes

(CNN) - "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart returned to his set after a two-week vacation just in time to hammer Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney over new questions about Romney's tenure at Bain and renewed calls for him to release more of his income tax returns.

Stewart struck upon a remark senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," when he told chief political correspondent Candy Crowley that Romney "retroactively retired" from Bain Capital while he was heading the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

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"I'm not saying that if you have a time machine you necessarily have to kill Hitler. But this retroactive retirement is the worst use of a time machine I have ever seen," Stewart joked.

The host delved further into reports stating Romney was listed as Bain's CEO after 1999, when the company invested in companies that outsourced jobs overseas. Stewart mocked the confusing explanation Romney's team has offered, which is that the GOP candidate was merely listed as the firm's CEO but didn't have a decision-making role.

"'I was just the guy with the smoke-screenish yet still-legal title of CEO and managing director who was paid at least $100,000 a year to do what according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing,'" Stewart said. "'That's the kind of common-sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House.'"

Stewart chided the candidate for telling reporters that he's not responsible for his investments because they're handled in a blind trust, saying, "So Mitt Romney is running on his business and finance acumen but is not responsible for the management of either his business or finances."

What would clear up confusion, Stewart said, would be "quick look at Romney's tax returns from the last 10 or 12 years."

Romney, of course, has said he will release only two years of tax return information, despite calls from Democrats and some Republicans to release more.

"Just the two years when you knew you were running for president," Stewart said. "Nobody gives a [bleep] about those two years. It would be like if the Keith Richards autobiography was called 'My Years as a Movie Pirate.'"

Stewart finished with an assessment of Romney's stance, saying the candidate doesn't understand that "nobody cares that Mitt Romney is rich."

Stewart continued, "It's Romney's inability to understand the institutional advantage that he gains from the government's tax code largesse, that's a little offensive to people, especially considering Romney's view on anyone else who looks to the government for things like, I don't know, food and medicine."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. SlackMeyer

    Well! Jon Stewart rips Romney on blah, blah, blah... Is this supposed to be news? Of course he's going to rip Romney.

    July 17, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. ghostriter

    At some point, Stewart is going to have to stop ripping into folks like this. Wait till the next batch of stuff comes out on Romney. Crony capitalism, the Olympics issues, etc. Combined with numerous ads of republicans saying Romney sucks and Romney's own words used against himself time and time again and what we'll see is a rather comical Romney playing dodge ball for the next few months.

    July 17, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. EDDIE

    Gotta love Jon Stewart.It's amazing we have a Tax Dodging Millionare running for President.Good Luck on that mittens.

    July 17, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. DrDanno

    Brilliant writing. As usual.

    July 17, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. Peace

    Oh! Stewart, you are superb. You nailed it.

    July 17, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. Kishman

    Myth Romney has been defined and deconstructed. He is an out-of-touch flip-flopper who lies about everything.

    July 17, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. MesaMom

    You tell him Jon!!! Is Mitt going to pull this if he gets elected? He'll be president for a year and then tell us he actually left and was president in name only? The buck stops at the CEO/President. Take responsibility!

    July 17, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. The GOP's "trickle down economics" has only provided pools of cash to the Caymans!

    "So Mitt Romney is running on his business and finance acumen but is not responsible for the management of either his business or finances."

    It just bares repeating!!!

    July 17, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It's Romney's inability to understand the institutional advantage that he gains from the government's tax code largesse, that's a little offensive to people, especially considering Romney's view on anyone else who looks to the government for things like, I don't know, food and medicine."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Exactly.
    Show us the money Robmey!!
    Show us your tax returns!!
    Obama 2012. Because America is NOT for sale.

    July 17, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Immy Jay

    Brilliant comments backed by fact, as usual. Stewart is a real treasure.

    July 17, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    "Waaaaah Waaaaaaah. The lamestream media is picking on me. Tell them to stop..."

    July 17, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. paulcat

    Whomever vote for this guy, I have some oceanfront property to sell you in Kansas.

    July 17, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Just the two years when you knew you were running for president," Stewart said. "Nobody gives a [bleep] about those two years.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Got that right too.
    Why was he so willing to show McCain as mroe tax returns than were necessary, but is so unwilling to show us, the voters, anything beyond the beautifully packaged last two years' returns? Aren't we, the voters, as important than McCain? Or was he trying to convince McCain of the same thing that he is trying to convince us of, that someone as wealthy as him BELONGS by virtue of his wealth in the White House?
    Obama 2012. Because even though Romney's wealth can probably buy AMERCIA, America is NOT for sale.

    July 17, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. California Gary

    Nobody can drive a point home like Jon Stewart. It's always funny, but also right on the mark!

    July 17, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. demwit

    No surprise. Stewart uses the same teleprompter as Obama.

    July 17, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Wasn't Romeny prepared to release tax returns back in 2008? Considering that his initial excuse in 2012 was that it was not required by law, I think not. He should release tax returns gonig back at least to what he should/would have released in 2008, and every year since that time.

    July 17, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. sonny chapman

    Mitt's, "I didn't do it ! It all happened after I left" mentality has finally caught up with him. What is it about these Repub. Rich Kids, like George W. & Mitt. They ALWAYS Cover Their Asses. They're NEVER left holding the bag. That's some one else's job. Brats !

    July 17, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. Has Mittens "RETROACTIVELY RETIRED" as the GOVERNOR of MA back to before he signed ROMNEYCARE???

    "'I was just the guy with the smoke-screenish yet still-legal title of CEO and managing director who was paid at least $100,000 a year to do what according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing,'" Stewart said. "'That's the kind of common-sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House.'"

    Jon, you just vividly defined Myth(I never borrow other names, but this is just TOO choice, thanx Kishman) Robme and the GOP's definition of "transparency" AND "ethics"!

    Nailed it!

    July 17, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Sniffit

    ""'I was just the guy with the smoke-screenish yet still-legal title of CEO and managing director who was paid at least $100,000 a year to do what according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing,'" "

    Except, according to him, Mitt Romney, when he testified in front of MA's Ballot Law Commission trying to establish his connections to MA in order to get on the ballot for governor, he actually did a whole bunch of things at Bain during those years, including attend board meetings, which he said gave him enough of a connection to MA to run for governor. It's all about what's convenient for Deputy Doublethink to claim AT THE MOMENT.

    July 17, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Jim

    Stewart also pointed out that Romney had enjoyed a $70,000 tax credit for entering his horse in an equine event. That doesn't seem to be a possibility for the average American tax payer, and I doubt very many of the rest of us want to pay for this sort of extravagance by the super rich. But then relating to average Americans is not something Mitt's been very good at through this whole campaign.

    July 17, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Thomas

    Mitt Romney ,

    We need a leader not a commercial !

    July 17, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Sniffit

    And the MSM will play Stewart off as not having pretty much reduced Deputy Doublethink's nonsense to ashes, beacuse the MSM, my friends, is DESPERATE to carry Mittens' water on this one. They need him not to take this kind fo damage this early. They need their horse race into November. They want the tax breaks and advantages Mittens' has promised them.

    July 17, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. rla

    Show us your school transcripts, birth certificate ??? Thinking about it show me anything positive Obama has done????

    July 17, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Just add SEC filings to the things that the GOP is opposed to.
    Well done Stewart

    July 17, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. iconoclast1

    In addition to being hilarious, Jon Stewart is a great interviewer and has an impressive ability to get to the heart of the matter. President Obama and John McCain have been on his show, but don't hold your breath for Romney to be on. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy Stewart's accurate portrayal of Romney as a man whose core conviction on the issues is: "I want to be President."

    July 17, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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