Jon Stewart rips Romney on Bain, taxes
July 17th, 2012
10:46 AM ET
6 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. ST

    Get prepared Stewart, soon Romney will demand an apology!

    July 17, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Bob

    Go Jon!

    Cough up the papers, Etch-A-Sketch, what do you have to hide, hhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??

    July 17, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Rob

    Kind of sad that CNN has to report on a COMEDY SHOW that researched old Romney footage to "investigate" Romney's finances.

    July 17, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. cali ha ha

    We should all protest all of his events unfilled he releases those 12 years.

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

    Willard is NOT his father. Yo must live on another planet if you think he's releasing more than 2 years of taxes. Our current President has released 8 years worth of taxes just as his predecessor did. What makes you so special Willard?

    July 17, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. rla

    Come on liberals you all got snookered by a Chicago Pol who has done nothing of any importance before nor after his election except elicit school yard trash talk , divide the country, run up massive debt with no result and fund raise in place of governing!??? What 's not to like TIME TO MOVE ON!

    July 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Doug in NYC

    The McCain campaign looked at Romneys tax returns and picked Palin, that should say something in itself!! The problem is, his tax returns could show a number of things, all of them not good and possibly illegal.

    1: He was involved with Bain and has lied to the American public.
    2: He wasn't involved with Bain and he lied to the SEC.
    3: He wasn't invovled with Bain, lied to the SEC AND filed as a resident of Utah making statements to the Board of Elections in Mass. LIES and he wasn't legally able to run for Governor. Not sure what the legal penalty is there, but I bet there is one. Why isn't anyone asking THIS question?

    Come clean Willard, your goose is beyond cooked at this point.

    July 17, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. drod

    It's sad that some people are still giving Romney a pass. These people will vote for Mitt no matter what and we understand. The majority of people though, can clearly see that Romney is not fit to be President and will make their voices heard in November.

    July 17, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Norm

    Best show on TV.

    July 17, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. drod

    Mitt has weighed the cost of releasing his tax returns versus not releasing them. He obviously believes releasing the tax returns has a bigger cost than not releasing them. Americans are very intelligent and can see right through this.

    July 17, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Stephen in Bedford, Texas

    In my work our business relationship is based on income and credit worthiness of our customer. If someone states they are self employed, we require two years of tax records. If two years of tax records are not available, we require a bank statement a consistent sufficient income. Romney is applying for the most powerful job in the country and he's only willing to present one year of tax records. That is a major red flag.

    July 17, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. CanadaONE

    The fact that he is only going to release the two years when he knew he was running for president SAYS IT ALL – now we MUST SEE what he was doing with his money before he decided to run

    This guy will destroy the GOP when the facts come out – and they WILL

    July 17, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    sniffit found it:

    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.
    EXACTLY. That is exactly why all of the talk about the Obama ads being false are what is actually false. According to Romney's sworn testimony, which he based in part on the signed SEC documents.

    July 17, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Jon Stewart gave us a beautifully concise, fact-based summarization of this uber-wealthy wannabe pretender to the highest office in the land.
    Romney for all of his "experience" is the personification of a through and through clueless AMATEUR.
    He's NOT ready for primetime. He, and those that catapulted, and bought his way this far in the race, are realizing that somethings like being comfortable in one's skin, connecting with the voters, charisma, statesmanship, and integrity as personified by our current President, CANNOT be bought or faked.
    Mark my words Romney, this is your last FAILED shot at running for the presidency. I suspect after you're summarily dismissed and rejected by the voters in November you'll go back to being the GOP's inside joke, and persona non grata lest it involves hitting you up for a political contribution.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    July 17, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Terry

    Statement from Mitt Romney: "Well, you see, we file our taxes on an Etch-A-Sketch, and the returns prior to 2011 were inadvertently shaken when a pile of money they were stored on collapsed. It was tragic and unavoidable, but rest assured we have fixed this going forward. We now use the Etch-A-Sketch iPad app, and store these devices under the money, where there's a much lower chance they might be erased".

    July 17, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. v_mag

    I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm a real good, upstanding businessman, and I'm running for President on that experience. However, you'll just have to take my word for it that I'm a straight shooter who didn't have anything to do with outsourcing American jobs, and that I haven't been a little too slick and stingy about paying my taxes, using techniques only available to a 1%er. Isn't my word good enough for you?

    After all, I am a rich person, so my word should be taken as Gospel (or, at least, as Book of Mormon).

    July 17, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. FLIndependent

    If Stuart's explanation of what's been said over this Bain issue doesn't prove Romney will just be a puppet for his corporate masters, I don't know what does?

    July 17, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Enuff

    "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,"....


    July 17, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Dixie Normous

    All this from someone that makes $47,000 a day, almost as much as Romney, and who is projected to have more money than Romney by the time he is 65. Yeah, lacking a little something in the credibility department.

    July 17, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. ABCD

    Though Jon Stewart is a comedian, I expected him to take this issue of Bain and Tax Returns of Romney seriously and not a laughable matter. It is all about peoples lives and the future of the country, thus most of us take it seriously.

    July 17, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. FLIndependent

    @Ria – "Thinking about it show me anything positive Obama has done????"
    It's people like this that should NEVER be voting, If you can't recognize anything positive that our President has done then you need to step outside your Faux News bubble.

    July 17, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    I want to see Romney kaleidoscope his way out of this one.

    July 17, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Wes B.

    Jon Stewart does better news than the news organizations. It's on Comedy Central...and people laugh at it...but most of this stuff ISN'T FUNNY!
    It's not funny that our system is so corrupt.
    It's not funny that you can lie your way to the top.
    It's not funny that our country can go to war for non-existent WMDs.
    It's not funny that the GOP tries to keep women from equal rights.
    It's not funny that unlimited, unreported money can go towards negative, lying campaign ads.

    We have a problem in this country. Jon Stewart is excellent at pointing the problems out. And people laugh because it's probably better than crying. But the problems are still there. Wake up, America!!

    July 17, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. demwit

    Hillarious.., the only thing funnier is Obama's record of Hope and Change.

    July 17, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Mike

    It's impossible to believe that a republican would lie or try to hide sooemthing from the public. They are perfect in any way. Besides, we are suppose to "do as they say, not as they do". They are not leaders. They are dictators!

    July 17, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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