Sen. Mitt Romney’s name popped up as the answer to a trivia question on “Jeopardy!” during Tuesday’s episode.
The show is in the middle of hosting the 2023 Tournament of Champions, which allows winning players from former seasons to compete.
Host Ken Jennings read out the clue under the “Taxes” category for $600, “In January 2012, this GOP candidate said he was ‘proud of the fact I pay a lot of taxes.’”
Emily Sands, one of the three contestants on Tuesday’s episode, correctly answered, “Who is Mitt Romney?” She followed it up with, “Old Mittens.”
The next round airs on Wednesday, but Sands, a project manager from Chanhassen, Minnesota, ended the episode in the lead with $30,400.
Story behind the ‘Jeopardy!’ clue on Sen. Mitt Romney
As for the trivia clue, it was referencing the Republican primary debate that took place right before Romney’s tax returns were made public, a step that presidential candidates typically take voluntarily, but sometimes under political pressure, like Romney.
The documents, which spanned more than 500 pages, detailed his annual income of more than $20 million, on which he paid a 15% tax. At the time, the Democratic Party accused him of using loopholes to avoid paying his fair share.
“I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more,” he said. “I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.”
“You’ll see how complicated taxes can be. And will there be discussion? Sure. Will it be an article? Yeah. But is it entirely legal and fair? Absolutely,” he said, before saying the words that became a clue on “Jeopardy!”: “I’m proud of the fact that I pay a lot of taxes.”
During the debate, Romney said that those looking at his tax returns should take a glance at his contributions to charity.
“You’ll see my income, how much taxes I’ve paid, how much I’ve paid to charity,” he said.
Romney’s returns showed that he gave $7 million to charity in 2010 and 2011, which included donations to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he is a member.
Other times Sen. Mitt Romney was a clue on ‘Jeopardy!’
This isn’t the first time the Utah senator’s name appeared in a round of “Jeopardy!”
Earlier in July, Jennings, the host, was in disbelief when none of the three contestants could answer a Romney-related question correctly, as Fox News reported.
Under the category titled “My Would-Be VP,” which featured vice presidential candidates with unsuccessful campaigns, the $800 clue said, “Paul Ryan, who’d remain in the House.” Ryan was Romney’s running mate in the 2012 presidential election.
“How soon we forget,” Jennings said, before moving on to the next clue.
Jennings is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and attended Brigham Young University, of which Romney, too, is an alum.
In 2004, when he was working as a software engineer in Salt Lake City, Jennings was a pop culture sensation after winning 74 straight games on the game show. In the following years, he would often share his thoughts on his blog or social media, often talking about Romney, his presidential campaigns and his faith, which was becoming a part of the national conversation at the time.
It’s safe to say that Jennings will not forget Romney’s 2012 campaign anytime soon.
Romney was an answer on “Jeopardy!” in June 2022, when the clue read, “The first name of a Republican senator is a homophone for the German word for ‘with,’” as Fox News’ Chad Pergram posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He was also an answer to a clue in July 2022. “Self-styled as West Virginia’s first town, it dates to 1762 and shares its name with a 2012 presidential nominee,” the clue said.
In 2021, the Utah senator was the answer to the clue, “Of senator and former governor Willard Romney,” Pergram reported.