Gingrich dogs Romney with pet story
January 11th, 2012
05:57 PM ET
3 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. Nurse Ratched

    Pet love vs people love:
    Romney puts family dog in airtight car roof kennel. Dogs love riding cars.
    Gingrich serves divorce papers to cancer stricken wife in hospital. Then moves on to 2nd wife, then to 3rd wife. Wives don't like being left behind.

    Newt, such a sweet fozzie bear, slimey Newt the cuddler, oopps (no, not you, Rick), he slipped out of my arms...

    January 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. fedup

    As to the dog story they left out the most telling part. According to one of mitts sons in a interview the dog soiled all over itself and the car in it's terror. Romeny, s
    tops at a gas station, uses a hose, hoses off the dog in the cage, cage and car leaves the terrified and not wet and shivering dog up there and keeps going

    January 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. Indy

    Dogs are car parts too.

    January 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    Newt......your barking up the wrong tree. pune intended. As much as I dislike Mitt I'm sure that "Seamus" the dog (nice name by the way)eats better and is treated better then most of the American publis that WON'T be voting for his master.

    January 12, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. Indy

    I heard that Mitt Romney has invested in a company that makes kennels that you put on top of your car to carry your middle class relatives, and it works for mother in laws,father in laws etc. The air tight kennel makes for a very peaceful journey into paradise for you and your not so loved realitives.

    January 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Nurse Ratched

    Clarification: whatever you think of Mitt's dog transportation mode. .. He was trying to say that the kennel was 'air protected', that the dog was not exposed to extreme winds or wind chill during the ride.

    You should see how some people down here in the south transport their dogs on pickup truck beds. Just a rope or chain around the neck, some don't even have sideboards. No, I don't condone it.

    January 12, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Myth Romney Million$$$ and his Super PACs Thug Could ONLY Buy him 8 extra Votes

    Why not put Myth Romney on the kennel on top of the car and let the DOG drive the car?!

    I'm sure the dog got more smarts than Myth Romney...who is thumbing his nose at ordinary people, and animals like dirt!!!!

    January 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. theresa

    Hi every 1 i am so glad the gop are picking romney for the same reason they pick mccain 3 years ago the media said to the gop only mccain can win so they nominate him and they lost now they say only romndy can win and they just doing that i see a landslide and all i wann say romney money might buy him anything he wish but not my vote or the presidency good luck all and i am voting smart voting obama

    January 12, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Nice picture of a fading $250M flip flopper. Maybe he can ride back to that mansion of his in CA the same way his poor had to fir pete's sake!
    This guy has no character but, like all of them running for the teapublikan party, morals and values dont matter much!

    January 12, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Gurgi

    I love how liberals love to make "elephants from small bugs" as my Russian wife says. I have seen many cars with animal carriers on top. That aside, what about all the dogs riding in back of pickup trucks? Or all the hunting dogs in their kennels in the back of pickup trucks, or dogs riding in cars with their heads out the windows? Man, you liberals continue to lose credibility with your hatred of anything non-liberal and your in-general blindness to the "big picture." That being said, I'm not really a Romney fan. I would prefer Huntsman.

    January 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    Rudy asked: Why did he single out "people who provide services" who are usually some of the least paid people in the work force?

    You answered your own question, Rudy. He singled out "people who provide services" BECAUSE they are some of the lowest paid people in the workforce, and therefore the least likely to object and fight back.

    January 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Dude in Colorado

    Jeeeezzz Newt – is this the best you got? Some shaggy dog story?! Why don't you just give Mittens the Nomination now?! I never liked Gingrich (The GOP's own Mr. Warmth-and-Sincerity) but I at least thought he had a brain!

    January 12, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Putting my dog in a kennel and then attaching the kennel to the roof of my car in an effort to bring the dog on vacation with me is not something I'd ever do. Then again, I wouldn't put my dog in an air tight kennel either. Poor thing must have been absolutely terrified the entire trip.

    January 12, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Pat

    What else can the republicans talk about, they have no substance.

    January 12, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. skippy

    This isn't a personal attack. He is drawing a clear contrast between himself and Romney. Compare Mitt's treatment of his dog compared to the story of Newt in high school, jumping into a frozen lake to save his dog, Pride. Compare. Contrast.

    January 12, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. olepi

    "One day after declaring he would not delve into personal attacks," Gingrich launched a vicious personal attack.

    That is why he is not qualified to be President.

    January 12, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. GI Joe

    I've seen those air-tight top carriers. They are NOT meant to carry any living thing - PERIOD. (You know, plastic with a lid that flips up for loading and has seals to keep out rain, snow, bugs, etc.).

    He's an animal abuser. Vote NO to animal abusers.

    January 12, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. KC Yankee

    Like I've said before, you gotta admire ole Newt. He knows every smarmy trick in the book and he's not above using any of them.

    January 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Lolo

    We democrats are not worried about either one of these idiotic people. They are eating their own. No one wants either of them representing the United States. They have no class at all. Just proves that they will do anything to get elected.

    January 12, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Tony

    In defense of Romney, at least Romney treats his dog better than the people who were laid off when Bain Capital took over the companies that employed them.

    January 12, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Sandy

    skippy wrote:

    "This isn't a personal attack. He is drawing a clear contrast between himself and Romney. Compare Mitt's treatment of his dog compared to the story of Newt in high school, jumping into a frozen lake to save his dog, Pride. Compare. Contrast."

    I'm no Newt fan, not by a long shot. But if this is true, Good on Newt. No matter what you think of him, he's obviously an animal lover (if what Skippy said is true) and he is appealing to all the animal lovers. This also goes to Mitt's character.

    Obama 2012!

    January 12, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Charlie in Maine

    Though I question everything that comes out of Romney's mouth and I love my own dor dearly, this story does more to discredit Newt Gingrich than it does Romeny. Newt said he wouldn't get personal, then he turns around and brings this up? If you have ever read my posts you woul know that I am left of center and not shy about it so it is not an endorsement of his policies as much as his character when I say "I miss Ronald Reagan". I especially miss the employment of his "11th Commandment" :thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans" I often wish that my fellow Democrats would follow that sage advice. Dear GOP, I can take wrong, afterall my party has been wrong before as well but why do you have to be so mean?

    January 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Sandy replied to Henry Millers comment of "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!
    ----------------
    Gotta give Mitt credit, he has consistency of character in one aspect at least - he treats animals and people with equal indifference.

    January 12, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Bart

    The story of abusing his own dog goes to the kind of person he is. ""A man's soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog."
    – Charles Doran

    January 12, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    Well there's certainly one thing new I've learned during this primary season – don't piss off Newt Gingrich. Good grief. Now don't get me wrong, tying your dog to the top of your car is a total lack of character, and I certainly wouldn't want someone like that as our President, but Newt is on a tear, and it's ugly.

    January 12, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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