Playing hot potato with hot dog stories
April 18th, 2012
03:09 PM ET
2 years ago

Playing hot potato with hot dog stories

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) – Mitt Romney refused to play ball Wednesday over the newest turn in a frenzy dogging the political sphere.

The presumptive GOP nominee brushed off a question about President Obama eating dog meat as a child in Indonesia, telling a conservative radio host: "This campaign is going to ultimately become about jobs, not dogs."

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Romney's response came a day after reports went viral that the president had eaten dog as a young boy in Indonesia. The story - published Tuesday by the conservative news site The Daily Caller - was a childhood story which Obama originally revealed in a 1995 memoir.

The hubbub gave Republicans an opportunity to push back against another dog-related storyline: criticism of Romney for once transporting his dog, Seamus, in a crate strapped to the family car during a trip.

Democrats have gleefully used that story as an opportunity to paint Romney as removed and out-of-touch. In January, Obama senior strategist David Axelrod tweeted a photograph of Obama riding in a car with his Portuguese water dog, Bo, with the words: "How loving owners transport their dogs."

On Tuesday night, Romney senior strategist Eric Fehnrstrom joined the dogfight, retweeting Axelrod's original missive but adding the snapshot of Obama and his dog was: "In hindsight, a chilling photo."

WLW host Bill Cunningham asked Romney to weigh in Wednesday.

"Are you a little bit embarrassed by the so-called lame stream media spending its time on Seamus your dog and, it hasn't broken yet big time nationally about the president when he was known as Barry Sotero eating dogs in Indonesia. Is that the level of the campaign that we have?" Cunningham said.

Romney quickly turned the conversation back to his economic message.

"You know, I think this campaign is going to ultimately become about jobs not dogs," he said. "Look, you recognize, of course, that some members of the media and certainly the DNC and the White House itself, are going to do everything in their power to divert the attention of the voter from the failure of the president to turn around the economy."

Also see:

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Romney campaign 'bracketing' aims to 'step on president's message'

Dems, Republicans make their picks in election to replace Giffords

CNN Poll of Polls: All knotted up between Obama and Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Eating dog meat in Indonesia might be less unusual than giving your dog a roof ride in America (several people on Twitter have 'fessed up to having eaten dog abroad). Repubs make it sounds like President Obama had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    BTW, I'd like to know how many Mormon missionaries in Indonesia have tried dog meat?

    April 18, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. 111Dave111

    Mitt Romney has dozens of former Bush Advisors who did nothing to prevent the stock market from going down 6,000 points in a matter of 2 months (770 points in one day), the worst financial disaster since the depression, caused AIG to go bankrupt, caused the automobile industry to go broke, caused the collapse of the banking industry. The de-regulation of derivatives and credit default swaps caused the worst crisis since the depression. No way in the world I want these clowns back in office.

    *** Mitt Romney has dozens of former George W. Bush Advisors. ***

    Wow!

    April 18, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Ready

    Wooof woof obama!!

    April 18, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    In much of eastern Asia, some breeds of puppies are considered a delicacy. I guess most of the conservatives who are going around retelling this anecdote either don't know, or just simply do not care, just as long as they can criticize.

    April 18, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    Obama eating dog huh??? Funny how THAT one never came out in the LSM in 2008 yet there are countless tories about Romney and his dog. LSM protecting Obama yet again....

    April 18, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Ready

    Loving pet owners don't eat their dogs!!

    April 18, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. freidamurray

    In the first part of this article, Mitt actually seemed like he wasn't going to trash the prez, and ignore this silly story. But then it happened... the last paragraph, "Look, you recognize, of course, that some members of the media and certainly the DNC and the White House itself, are going to do everything in their power to divert the attention of the voter from the failure of the president to turn around the economy." He just couldn't be a normal human being. Has to politicize everything! So close.

    April 18, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Harry Wreckdom

    There is NOTHING wrong with eating dog. I have done it many times in Asia. They are not raised as pets – they are raised just like farm animals. I actually like dog meat.

    So stop the spoutrage over something trivial. Tell us how you really want to screw over the middle class Rmoney......

    April 18, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    Romney quickly turned the conversation back to his economic message.

    Which was Obama this and Obama that. What are YOU going to do Willard besides change your magic underwear?

    April 18, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    Has anybody seen Obama's dog recently??? I hear they had a barbeque last weekend...

    April 18, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Nobodies Pon

    First of all the president was a child and had to eat whatever was provided by his step father. Romney was a grown man taking a vacation. Big difference if republicans want to go down that dark racsist road to hell go ahead be my guest.

    April 18, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Myviewis

    Reality check, Obama grew up in Indonesia and yes people in Indonesia who are not Muslim eat dog meat, that is the life he knew grewing up in Indonesia. He is not from Chicago as so many people want to believe, Chicago is not his hometown, Hawaii is his home state. I believe Obama moved to the mainland from Hawaii in 1980 to attend college in California. Obama did not grow up eating hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn,etc..as those things in Indonesia did not exist in their markets.

    April 18, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    Ummm, I've eaten goat meat before but that doesn't mean I approve of cruelty to goats. Rmoney and is rightwing hatemonkeys are really off the rails on this one.

    April 18, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. kayla

    stay focus mr. president, the more they hate you the higher you soar like an eagle.
    you will win again

    April 18, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. kimberly

    for all the money this yahoo has, you would THINK someone would tell him tucking in a pocket polo is not only UNACCEPTABLE, but to pair it with brown cords should be illigal!!! DUNCE!

    April 18, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. kimberly

    Romney teasing Obama for something his step father made him do when he was six is akin to making fun of a child that was molested by their stepfather. Romney is pathetic and disgusting!

    April 18, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. kimberly

    The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    Obama eating dog huh??? Funny how THAT one never came out in the LSM in 2008 yet there are countless tories about Romney and his dog. LSM protecting Obama yet again....
    ___________________________________________________________
    Um, Obama was SIX and living in a country that that was the norm. Romney was a grown man and living in a country that is NOT THE NORM to put your dog on the roof. I understand your childish rantings are normal on this forum, and I rarely read your idiotic comments, but serioulsy. The president was a child, and HE HIMSELF revealed this fact in his book, wasnt being covered up. I pray you have no kids.

    April 18, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Wake up people

    So doing something your stepfather tells you to do as an 8 year old, is worse than making a conscious choice as an adult?? Only in America, and only if you are black.

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 18, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Paul Ernest Show

    I cannot find reason to think or visualize this guy as president. He has remained silent while his party is ruthlessly trying o turn back the hand of time for women and every other group they fear is not going to vote for them. And he's not going to disassociate himself from his religion which forbids him from having communication with women during certain days and events, like some cults do. American women should be standing on their toes on Romney.

    April 18, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. anotherGDlefty

    Yeah, let's not realize that America isn't the only country on the planet and our customs over-rule others customs.
    Some of those customs are thousands of years old.
    Dogs have been used for meat for centuries and the GOP is just now discovering it?

    I'll go with the poster that said a person tying a crated dog to the roof in America is more of an outrage than a person in Indonesia ingesting dog meat.

    April 18, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Dan J

    Putting a dog on top of a car with a windshield is no different than a person going cross-country on a motorcycle or an open top convertible. I decided to test my theory, putting my dog's crate on top of my SUV. I drove for 15 minutes going about 50 mph. When I got out, the dog seemed fine. The next day, when I brought my dog out, he saw the crate and excitedly tried jumping into it. He enjoyed it. It's also no different than a person putting their dog in the back of their pickup. So why is this torture and cruelty?

    April 18, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Kenny K

    Pigs are pets for some people in this country, and people still eat pigs.

    April 18, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    This was totally planned and staged, not an off-the-cuff moment. Likely, the question was given to the intereviewer by the Changeling's campaign and it was done this way so they could get the meme started in a manner that would allow the Changeling to plausibly deny responsibility for it. You can tell because it fits so snugly into Team Changeling's recent desperate and cynical switch to the "I know you are but what am I?" tactics of projecting all of the Changeling's biggest weaknesses onto Obama (war on women, out of touch-ness, etc.). One might wonder why the Changeling is telegraphng that he fears weakness on what he did to his dog, such that he needs to "one up" it by trying hard to turn Obama into a "dog eater," but he's clearly hoping that the meme has wings. Expect mass emails much as possible.

    April 18, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Expect mass emails much as possible."

    Should've read..."expect mass emails from places like World Net Daily to try to spread this claim as much as possible."

    April 18, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Ready

    To criticise your opponents treatment of his dog and they it comes out that you've actually eaten dog, that's a gaff, don't care how you want to try and pass that off. Ha

    April 18, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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