The Story

From Time Magazine 6/27/2007:

The incident: Dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon.

How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the                   family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.

From The Wall Street Journal 12/21/11:

It’s a question that has dogged him for years. Why did Mitt Romney once strap the family dog in its carrier to the roof of the car and then set off on a summer vacation to Canada?

The story of the family pet, Seamus, appeared in a 2007 Boston Globe piece.

“As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ‘Dad!’ he yelled. ‘Gross!’ A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.”

New York Times columnist Gail Collins has famously skewered Mr. Romney for the episode, so much so that some might call it an obsession.

In an interview ranging from the candidate’s shift to a general election tone to the causes of the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal asked Mr. Romney to give his side of the Seamus story.

“Uh…,” Mr. Romney said, clearly at a loss for words. “Love my dog.”

“That’s all I’ve got for ya,” he added.

But asked to rebut Ms. Collins’ insinuations that he had been mean to his dog, Mr. Romney said, “Oh please. I’ve had a lot of dogs and love them and care for them very deeply.”

At which point his aide said: “We’ve gotta get running.”

From the Boston Globe, June 2007 Boston Globe:

As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ”Dad!” he yelled. ”Gross!” A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway.

Speaking to Chris Wallace at Fox News, Romney described the carrier as a “completely airtight kennel” and said that Seamus was “comfortable” in it, to the point that “he climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home a great deal of the time as well. We loved the dog.”

Seamus, who has passed away, cannot of course speak for himself. Two weeks after the BostonGlobe article, Mitt Romney’s sister Jane provided a photo of the Irish setter with two cats and described him as a “social dog” who could be described as “Mr. Personality.” He had so many “dog friends” that he kept leaving the Romneys’ home and “ending up at the pound.” Some years after the infamous ride on the roof to Canada (which Jane said she did not know about until reading the Boston Globe‘s piece), Seamus was sent to live with her family in California, “so he could roam more freely.”

MORE LINKS:

TIME MAGAZINE: Romney’s Cruel Canine Vacation

TIME MAGAZINE’s SWAMPLAND BLOG: Romney’s Shaggy Dog Story

Fox News’ Lanny Davis: Why Romney’s Dog on Car Roof Story Makes Him Unfit to be President 

RACHEL MADDOW SHOW (MSNBC): Insensitivity, Gaffes, and Romney’s Dog

SUSAN ESTRICH: Romney’s Care of Dog May Attest to His Character 

ABC NEWS: Romney Strapped Dog to Roof of Car 

THE GUARDIAN: Animal Cruelty Story Dogs Romney 

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5 thoughts on “The Story

  1. Mitt Romney has a real problem. He committed animal cruelty, and because of this, he is listed in the National Animal Cruelty Registry. The registry was founded in 1986, and has documented approximately 20,000 incidents of animal cruelty from across the country. Many animal shelters and pet stores will not sell to a person whose name is in the registry.

    http://www.inhumane.org/data/MRomney.htm

  2. It seems pretty clear to me that the dog did what it did out of fear, if not absolute terror. As for the turkey on the counter story, it evokes a sort of Checkers sensation except that Tricky Dick, unlike Sh**** Mitt, at least told his own lies instead of putting his wife up to it.

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