On Monday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough said that unlike other wealthy presidential candidates in the past, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has set himself up to be vulnerable in the November general election.
“Americans didn’t care that Jack Kennedy was rich,” Scarborough said. “They didn’t care that Roosevelt was rich. They didn’t even care that John Kerry was rich in ’04. People aren’t talking about that. But Mitt Romney has given the Obama team so many buzzwords: Swiss bank account, Cayman Islands, ‘I like firing people,’ 14 percent, ‘let the market bottom out,’ pink slips, ‘I know what it’s like to be unemployed.’ You could go on and on. He has set himself up for a November killing.”
Scarborough noted there was a double standard at play against Romney and he asked his guest, New York Magazine’s John Heilemann, if he or other national media had been as outspoken when questioning 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s then-13.1 percent tax rate versus the higher one paid by Romney in 2010.
“I’m not trying to be argumentative, but I think it’s a fair question to ask: Why would they care that Mitt Romney paid a 14.3 percent tax on his income when John Kerry paid a 13.1 percent tax on his income and he had more money than Mitt Romney?” Scarborough said. “How many Americans went to the voting booth and said, ‘I’m not voting for John Kerry.’ … Let’s say the national media like you. How many times did you bring up John Kerry’s 13.1 percent tax rate in 2004?”
Scarborough suggested there may be a much larger problem looming over Romney’s head: A couple of years that he may have paid no taxes because of market losses.
“His problem is this: There were a couple of years because, you know the markets go up and the markets go down, where he probably paid zero, paid no taxes,” Scarborough said. “So here you can have a guy worth hundreds of millions of dollars that’s going to be the GE candidate. I think, I’m just guessing that’s what they’re afraid of because that’s what happens when you’re dealing in markets and capital gains, sometimes you make lots. When that happens, he’s in trouble.”