Treatment of Family Pet Still Dogs Romney

Dog was in carrier on top of car for 12-hour trip, Gingrich ad reminds voters
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2012 11:20 PM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2012 3:15 AM CST

A long-dead Irish setter and a revived issue has provided Newt Gingrich with more ammunition to use against Mitt Romney. In 1983, Romney and his family drove from Boston to Canada with Seamus, the family dog, in a carrier strapped to the roof of the car. At some point during the 12-hour drive, Seamus suffered a bout of diarrhea and Romney hosed down the dog and the car before returning him to the carrier. A new Gingrich ad uses a clip from an old interview in which Romney defends his treatment of the dog, ABC reports.

"This is a completely air-tight kennel, mounted on the top of our car,” Romney says in the ad. “He was in a kennel at home a great deal of time as well. It was where he was comfortable." The Seamus story first surfaced during Romney's previous White House bid, and Neil Swidey, the Boston Globe reporter who unearthed it, says he finds its endurance fascinating. The story "struck me as a valuable window into how Romney operates," he writes. "In everything the guy does, he functions on logic, not emotion." (More Romney dog stories.)

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