While I don’t imagine that it will be a game changer in the mad charge for the Republican presidential nomination, animal rights activists have created a Web site to remind voters that Mitt Romney once put his Irish Setter, Seamus, in a carrier on his car roof for a 12-hour family vacation trip.
As the Boston Globe first reported in 2007, in 1983, Romney drove his station wagon packed with five sons and his wife on a 12-hour trip from Boston to Ontario, where his parents had a cottage on Lake Huron.
He took a dog carrier and attached it to the roof rack of the white Chevy station wagon with faux wood paneling (think National Lampoon’s Vacation), built a special windshield, and put his dog Seamus into the carrier, where the dog remained for the 12-hour trip.
During the trip, the Globe reported, Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, looked around through the rear window and yelled, “Dad — gross!” A brown liquid was dripping down the back window — diarrhea from an animal that just might have been caused by the stress of being inside a cage for 12 hours on top of a car going 60 miles per hour or more.
Here’s how the Globe described what Romney then did:
“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.”
Romney’s wife has said that Seamus lived to “a ripe old age,” but a tipster now tells Politicker that the dog ran off when the Romney family arrived at their destination. Romney’s campaign has not yet commented on the revelation, while Romney has said in the past that the dog enjoyed riding on the roof so much that he would jump up there on his on.
Meanwhile, a new Newt Gingrich add goes after Romney for the incident.
“This is a completely air-tight kennel, mounted on the top of our car,” Romney says in the ad, defending his dog placement in a Fox News clip. “He was in a kennel at home a great deal of time as well. It was where he was comfortable.”
The video then shows white words flashing across a black screen: “Imagine what Obama would do with a candidate like that.”
Was the dog distressed? Was it illegal under Massachusetts law as cruelty? There is evidence that both are true.
Click here for more.