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. kit8

    Mitt lied about his dog kennel when he said the dog kennel is airtight. If, the kennel was airtight the dog would be dead on a long trip. Makes me wonder what else Mitt would lie about. Or, wait a minute, I got it he is trying to literally sound like "The Gipper" when he speaks. I am sure that would fool more than a few Republicans as they already believe you can transport a dog in an airtight container.

    January 12, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  2. Daystar

    Being the caretaker of 11 lab and bloodhound mix dogs, i would be willing to put mitt on top of my truck and give him a long ride. Shame on his shallow thing !!!

    January 12, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  3. FedUp

    A kennel on top of the car??? If the dog had been kiolled, would he have gotten out of animal cruelty charges? Not a smart man, as far as common sense is concerned.

    January 12, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  4. Irma in north Carolina

    I hope they bring Mitt down on his knees and he loses.

    January 12, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  5. give peace a chance

    Pass the popcorn, please.

    January 12, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  6. Bill

    air tight box – that can't be true - how would the dog get air to breath. maybe he meant the dog was air tight and he didn't need air.

    January 12, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    "Imagine what [President Barack] Obama would do with a candidate like that. Only Newt Gingrich can win debates against Obama. Mitt Romney can't."
    If the question of Romney's dog came up in a presidential debate, I guess I'd have to question both the skill of the moderator as well as the collective stupidity of any and all who care.

    January 12, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  8. Anders Perillo

    Gingrich is just pathetic anymore.

    January 12, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  9. ST

    Whatever decision a person made in the past (especially awkward ones) indicates future behavior. With Romney treating the animal that way, I have much doubts of him messing up making decisions for the entire nation.

    January 12, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. Frederick Sanchez

    Some more Republicans tactics. LOL

    January 12, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  11. Henry Miller

    Not that I'm a Romney fan, but what has this to do with his qualifications to be President?

    January 12, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. GI Joe

    Romney is NOT qualified to be President. If we had a dictator, he would fit the bill. Or maybe a King.

    Wanna change how we're governed? Vote Romney (or any other republican except Paul).

    Best to be safe and Give President Obama the time needed to clean up the worst mess ever left ANY president.

    January 12, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Henry Miller

    Not that I'm a Romney fan, but what has this to do with his qualifications to be President?
    Absolutely nothing. In fact, the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania is proof positive that qualifications to hold the office have become irrelevant in the eyes of far too many.

    January 12, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    Obama is surely enjoying watching this circular firing sqaud. Keep it up Newter and Perry. The more you needle at Mittens the more you will see his true self. He's gonna throw a hissy fit soon enough

    January 12, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. brian

    this is all they got, I love it when they (the gop and the dems) talk about being job creaters, if they could't stop the companies from shipping jobs out of the country how can they all of a sudden bring them back, and people believe this junk,as for the dog, like I said this all they got

    January 12, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. Anyone but O'Bama

    Romney is the only one who has a chance of winning againts Obama. The Republican party is swinging far too wide for most centrist and moderates to vote for anyone other than Romney. If you want Obama to be a TWO Term President keep up this crap.

    January 12, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  17. JohnM

    Gingrich is in no position to pass judgement upon anyones actions. He has proven he is untrustworthy and unable to make sound decisions by two failed marriages that he caused. If he can't be trusted in the intimacy of a marriage relationship, why in the world do people think they can trust him to run America. He is unfilt to lead in this kind of position.

    January 12, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. Sandy

    Henry Miller wrote:

    "Not that I'm a Romney fan, but what has this to do with his qualifications to be President?"

    A lot. It goes to Mitt's character. This is not a "character" I want representing the country!

    January 12, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  19. streetdude66

    First Newt said he would make "mincemeat out of Obama" in a debate but his lies & spin quickly knocked him out of the race and ultimately Newt made mincemeat out of himself. Now hes trying to do the same thing to Romney lying & spinning about Romney being cruel to his pet dog. Clinton broke it off in Newt 13 years ago and for 13 years Newts been trying to get back into public office ever since and THIS is the best hes got to offer to show hes a better candidate than Romney? Newt why are you a genius?

    January 12, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  20. streetdude66

    Yes lets all vote for Newt because Romney lets his dog ride on the roof of the family car. Is this relevant issue part of Newts Contract With Amer campaign

    January 12, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  21. mannycl

    Can at least get serious about the election? This Gingrich man is quite desperate.

    January 12, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. Scott S.

    Romney travels with his dog on the roof of the car, Newt Gingrich files for divorce when his spouses (plural!) get cancer, Rick Santorum brings dead babies home to his family, and Ron Paul believes people should die if they don't have health insurance. Oh boy. I just CAN'T WAIT to have one of these guys in the White House...

    January 12, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. TJ

    You may all think that Gingrich is doing this because he truly thinks that he will get the nomination – The truth is, he knows more than anyone else that he isn't going to win. The establishment wants him to stay in and get all of these attacks out there so that they're all after-thoughts when it comes time for the General Election. That's why party insiders like drawn out primaries – it's good for the party in the long run. It keeps the party in the media spotlight and gets all of the skeletons out of the closet way before it's time to vote. Gingrich is the best one to do the mud-slinging because he's got the biggest national name and would serve no use as the VP on Romney's ticket.

    January 12, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. Orwell proven

    Newt loves animals? Newt only loves power and his destiny in history.

    January 12, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. Anthony

    The Republican primary has gone to the dog.

    January 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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