Gingrich dogs Romney with pet story
January 11th, 2012
05:57 PM ET
6 years ago

Gingrich dogs Romney with pet story

Spartanburg, South Carolina (CNN) – One day after declaring he would not delve into personal attacks, Newt Gingrich kicked the Mitt Romney family dog into the campaign's discourse Wednesday.

Gingrich called out the dog story in a web video posted on his campaign's website that brings up a story about the former Massachusetts governor driving with their family dog, Seamus, riding in a container on the roof of the car.

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Tuesday Gingrich has said he intended to focus entirely on the records of the two candidates.

"Well we're doing everything we can to draw a sharp and clear contrast with Gov. Romney on the record. We're not getting into personal stuff," Gingrich told reporters Tuesday in Bedford, New Hampshire.

The ad, "For the Dogs," is a montage of statements from the former Massachusetts governor, including a clip from Fox News when Chris Wallace asks Romney, "I have a yellow lab named Winston. I would no sooner put him in a kennel on the roof of my car than I would one of my children. Question, what were you thinking?"

Romney responds: "This is a completely air-tight kennel mounted on the top of our car. He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home a great deal of time as well. We loved the dog. It was where he was comfortable and we had five kids inside the car and my guess is he liked it a lot better in his kennel than he would have liked it inside."

The Gingrich camp, obviously trying to tug at the heartstrings of animal lovers, cues this exchange and a number of other humorous statements or gaffes to playful-sounding music that concludes with a question on screen: "Imagine what [President Barack] Obama would do with a candidate like that. Only Newt Gingrich can win debates against Obama. Mitt Romney can't."

The web video was posted the day Gingrich began campaigning in South Carolina, the southern primary state with a reputation for mud-slinging politics.

The former speaker often chides his opponents and the media for taking sentences out of context but Gingrich does just that with the first sound bite in the minute-and-a-half web video.

"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," was Romney's quote from Monday that was widely mocked by his rivals, including Gingrich, who later came to his defense after he found out what Romney was referring to when he made that statement.

"In fact on his comment yesterday, on his comment yesterday on I like firing people, once I saw the whole quote, I said that's not fair to take it out of context, he clearly was talking about the right to choose between service providers, he wasn't actually talking about firing people per se," Gingrich said Tuesday.

Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN

Also see:

Poll: Romney, Santorum tied with Obama in Florida

Gingrich fires up down South

S.C. Republicans plan presidential forum in conservative upstate

Santorum to spend fundraising haul immediately in S.C.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Romney is an animal abuser based that story. What a sick thing to do.

    January 11, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "In fact on his comment yesterday, on his comment yesterday on I like firing people, once I saw the whole quote, I said that's not fair to take it out of context, he clearly was talking about the right to choose between service providers, he wasn't actually talking about firing people per say," Gingrich said Tuesday.
    99% of people do not talk like that, Mr. Gingrich. Most employers do not like firing people because it is usually a sign of a business failure. Most people describe changing insurers as "dropping" or "switching", not "fire people who provide services." What makes it worse is that he actually *likes* it. There is no difference in Romney's mind between letting an employee go or changing insurers. Why did he single out "people who provide services" who are usually some of the least paid people in the work force?

    January 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. PaulinKC

    "...he wasn't actually talking about firing people per SAY,' Gingrich said Tuesday." Really. Per SAY, huh? Note to self: Latin is not the same language as English. Video Vicky, Vinny!

    January 11, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |

    What do you expect from a man who call Corporations "people". Poor Seamus, one unlucky dog to be a member of that selfish greedy family.

    January 11, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    The ONLY thing Willard doesn't abuse is MONEY. In fact, he is a man without ANY soul at all. A spineless, mindless, GREEDY ignorant psychopath who worships the God of Money and nothing else.

    January 11, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. gg

    hahaha..that's a good one!..I love it...go Rick.

    January 11, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. dxlh

    Gingrich has jumped the shark.

    January 11, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. HenryB

    And we go marching on.

    January 11, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "This is a completely air-tight kennel mounted on the top of our car. "

    OH, NOW I UNDERSTAND: he was trying to suffocate it, not kill it by having it fly off the roof of a moving car.

    January 11, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. steve f

    "Politician" and "above it all" are non-sequitor...

    January 11, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. otermbachmann

    Breaking news. Seamus endorses Newt.

    January 11, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. donna

    I just read an article that said only Gingrich could beat Romney. But then I read this one, and I know it isn't true.

    January 11, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. dixon

    During the last debate in NH Romney criticzed Huntsman for serving as an Ambassador to China under a Democtratic President. This shows that the country will still be divided on party lines if Romney is elected President since he will not appiont a Democrat to any position no matter how qualified the person is.

    January 11, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Olaf Big

    I bet big bad Mitt slaps mosquitos too. Them poor little bloodsuckers... The fact remains that Romney is the only republican candidate who has any chance of beating Obama. Democrats would love nothing more than Gingrich being nominated. That guy would drop like a bomb in general elections. So, Gingrich is being both ridiculous and selfish trying to undermine Romney with this nonsense.

    January 11, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Jamie from Riverside

    Poor Newt, he's not going negative – he goes negative, he's not getting personal and staying on issues – he get's personal.
    Could there be a more desperate desperado?

    January 11, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Alex

    If the kennel was completely air-tight, the dog would have suffocated. So, which is it? Either way, dogs are not luggage and should never ride outside of ANY vehicle.

    You can judge the TRUE character of a man by the way he treats his animals. Just sayin'.

    January 11, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. Jake

    how low can crybaby Newt go?

    January 11, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. Carlos

    It is nice to see what substantive matters are being brought up about Mitt Rommeny. Newt, I am impressed.

    January 11, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Reggie from LA

    First, there was poor ol' Seamus (the dog), then there's his boss, ShameUs (the politician). Who ya gonna vote for?
    The message of the Seamus story is that Romney will do WHATEVER HE HAS TO DO to seduce votes. It's not that his party believes in him so much, they dislike Obama more. Enough to allay their uneasiness with Romney being a Mormon and a job crusher. So forgiving they are.

    January 11, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  20. Naql

    Ok, if the kennel was "airtight", how did the dog not suffocate? And "per se" is not spelled "per say".

    January 11, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. Christian

    Onward Christian soldiers

    January 11, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. avic de jesus

    Newt's act of desperation!

    January 11, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    An air tight kennel? So suffocation was in the offing?

    January 11, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. Sandy

    What a terrible person Romney is! You can tell a person's character by the way they treat their animals. Disgusting!

    January 11, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. ron

    This clown is going off the deep end. He doesn't know who he is anymore. It's amazing! I can't believe the GOP is going to offer this flip-flop fool as a presidential candidate??! What happened to protecting the integrity of the office of the presidency, GOP? Oh, I get it. You think Willard is going to make you rich like him. LOL. Good luck with that!

    January 11, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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