Jon Stewart weighed in on Mitt Romney's 47% controversy last night—or, as he described it, Romney "talking to rich people about poorer people in a manner you would imagine cartoon rich people talk about cartoon poorer people." The first problem with Romney's position: Almost two-thirds of the people who don't pay income taxes do pay payroll taxes—"meaning," Stewart explained, "they workin', they just ain't workin' hard enough." But more importantly, Stewart has some evidence that welfare isn't "a path to dependency"—evidence that hits Romney very close to home. Namely, an interview with Romney's mom talking about Romney's dad, who was on welfare for years but rose to wealth because "this great country gave him opportunities."
"Oh my god," Stewart said. "George Romney was on welfare, so according to Mitt Romney's own logic, Mitt Romney could not win the vote … of his dad." Also last night, Stewart interviewed Salman Rushdie, whose Satanic Verses once sparked Muslim protests. Stewart brought up the current protests against the Innocence of Muslims, wondering, "Is it like watching the sequel to a terrible movie that you were involved in, and now obviously you're happy it's starring a different actor?" "Yes," Rushdie answered, "except it's got an asshole in the central role." He added that the filmmaker's right to free speech must be defended, but he's still "a jerk."