June 29th, 2007
05:39 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney: Dog 'enjoyed' riding on car roof

Romney is taking heat for the way he transported his dog on family trips.

(CNN) - Under fire from a leading animal rights group, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defended the family dog's mode of transportation to a 1983 summer vacation.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticized the Republican presidential hopeful after The Boston Globe reported that Romney transported his dog in a rooftop carrier when the family drove from Boston to Ontario.

"If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog," Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA said in a statement. "I don’t know who would find that acceptable."

The article noted that Romney had built a wind shield carrier to make the ride more comfortable for the family's Irish Setter.

But on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania Thursday, Romney defended his chosen mode of transportation for the family dog.

"He scrambled up there every time we went on trips, got in all by himself and enjoyed it," Romney said of the Irish Setter.

Romney also conceded any endorsement of his candidacy by the group was unlikely.

"PETA has not been my fan over the years. PETA was after me for having a rodeo at the Olympics," he said in reference to his role as chief executive of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. "PETA was unhappy when I went quail hunting in Georgia, and they're not happy that my dog likes fresh air."

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (357 Responses)
  1. Pat Manhatten, KS

    Mitt's a mutt. The dog is a non story. Is Mitt fit to run the country? Maybe only slightly more qualified than GW Bush. But then, so was Mitt's Irish Setter.

    June 29, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Eli, Los Angeles, CA

    This is such a planted story. If you actually read into it, Romney comes off looking like this great innovative family man (he actually put a windshield on the doggie carrier) who drives around in a wood paneled station wagon ( the average Joe with his big American family) on family vacations. All of this is a direct rebuttal of the argument that he is a heartless business man who earned his fortune by directing companies that he purchased to layoff workers to enrich shareholders. Not that Romney is such a bad guy or would make such a bad president, but are we really falling for this kind of "news."

    June 29, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. pam, dover, nj

    if he can't treat a dog in a humane manner, how can he possibly think that anyone who has ever cared for any animal – and there are millions – would ever trust him to lead our country?

    June 29, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Joseph D'Amico Little Egg Harbor NJ

    Your dog actually got up on the roof
    and into the carrier by himself?
    How the heck does the dog get up on the
    Mitt Romney's credibility seems questionable to me................

    June 29, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Caroline, Redlands, CA

    This is just part of a long story about his family, about their trials and successes, marriages and deaths. I cannot understand the criticism about this dog's crate surrounded of course by wind shield and luggages during their trip in 1983! Please read the whole entire story of this marvellous family published by Boston Globe or follow this link http://www.sltrib.com/ci_6251541?source=rss

    June 29, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Pat Manhaten, KS

    Posted By Carl, Dallas,TX : June 29, 2007 5:20 pm

    I bet you also voted for an imbecile for prez twice... in 2000 and 2004. An imbecile who has single handedly destroyed our credibility as a country. Mitt would do no better. I wonder though if he would possibly give a ride on the top of his car to our resident chimp?

    June 29, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Bryson, Orlando, FL

    PETA’s position that Romney shouldn’t have done this to an animal because he wouldn’t do it to his child is absurd. We do many things to dogs that we wouldn’t do to our own children: we put pets on leashes, lock them in cages, let them eat off the floor, store them under the belly of a plane, neuter & spade them and even allow them to relieve themselves in public. Putting an animal on top of the family might be a bit more ‘out of the box’ then what most American’s would do, but it’s not way out there.

    If we are going to attack this event, then we better be fair and attack others. For example, I'm sure 25 years ago, there are many readers who rode in the back of their parents' car and didn’t even wear a seat belt. If your ride was like mine, you bounced up an down, stuck your head out the window, and were quite unruly. If Romney’s 25-year old violation is held to today’s standards, then we better go after our parents for letting us ride without seat belts. Maybe that’s why this generation is so messed up…it all comes back to the car ride.

    June 29, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Gene in Dallas

    I wouldn't have strapped my dog to the top of a car 20 years ago, but I woulda put Romney up there! This dude has got to be the biggest phony I've have ever seen, and this is after 7 years of Geo W. Bush! I can't believe Romney is even close in the Republican race. What a flip-flopper!!!

    June 29, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. Steve, Bakersfield, CA

    1983-now they bring it up! PETA, get a life!!

    June 29, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Stephen, Birmingham, AL

    “If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog,” Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA said in a statement. “I don’t know who would find that acceptable.”

    You have to be a real idiot to make a comparison between the way people treat their children vs the way pets are treated. I'm having a very difficult time coming up with one situation where my pets and children would be treated equally.

    June 29, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Angela, Big Spring, TX

    You have got to be kidding. Who cares what happened in 1983? I don't see a problem with his dog being in a carrier on the top of his car. Give me a break. Obviously, somebody has too much time on there hands to dig this long to find this. Is this all you found?

    June 29, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Jim, Phoenix AZ

    I think Mitt should ride in a carrier on top of the car!

    June 29, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Dr. Sheree Moskow, De Queen, Arkansas

    The original article states that this story was released to demonstrate Romney's "coolness under trying circumstances."

    I'm sorry, but can somebody please explain to me how a family roadtrip constitutes "trying circumstances"?

    June 29, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. c

    hmmmm does the boston globe have it out for romney. i mean seriously, what was teh date on this 1980 something. how in the world did they even get this information. what are they wasting their resources on? is this news?

    June 29, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. JW, Desert Hills, AZ

    “If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog,”
    That is a humilating comparison…children should NEVER be compare to animals! Only a moron would do such a thing!

    Good point! I like dogs way better than children!! Strap your kids to the roof all you want...but you better not let me catch you putting your dog up there!!

    June 29, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Lee, Honolulu HI

    Ugh. Groan... (Climbing up on my soapbox) Firstly, if you're gonna run for political office remember, almost everything will come back to haunt, especially the stupid, bad, dishonest, law convictions, etc. So, think before you do something, ahead of time. Romney putting his dog in an improvised carrier on the roof a car was cruel, uncaring, and dangerous for the dog. Maybe if he was a little more compassionate and had more common sense he would've done differently. Secondly, regardless of what uninformed people think about PETA, the organization has done a large amount of good in the area of animal rights and awareness. Keep it up. Lastly, I give very little credibility and suppport to someone who believes that Jackson County, Missouri will one day be the center of world government and that after death all unbelievers will serve them, but later become gods and goddesses and have spirit babies.

    June 29, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. Lisa, Salt Lake City, Utah

    While not a Mitt supporter; I too must chime in and say, C'MON!!! In 1983, the children were not strapped to the roof of anything because there was plenty of room to sit in the back of the pick-up; YES, it was FUN! We also rode bikes without helmets, and I bet at least some of the PETA women, who were then, young girls, had some of those hideous bunny fur coats. People: times change; so do we.

    June 29, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. ds, Williamsport, MD

    Who deleted my 1st comment? Dogs like to ride in the back of the truck. If they are in the car, they want to hang their head out the window. Being on top in a carrier is not much different! Also, my children will never, ever be compared to a pet.

    June 29, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Chris, Saint Louis

    Thank you for being honest, human, and real. Good Job!!

    June 29, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Dave Shier

    Where we live dogs ride on pickup cabs and beds all the time and it is an accepted practice'
    Dave in Colorado

    June 29, 2007 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. Derrick Martin, Bayfield, CO

    I think they should strap Mitt to the top of a car and drive from Bangor to San Diego. Not a chance in hell that his hair would get messed up! What an idiot.

    June 29, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Dan, Baltimore, MD

    I strongly dislike PETA. That having been said, how can anyone justify Romney keeping his dog in a carrier on the roof of his car for 12 hrs?!! The reports says the dog lost bowel control! Does that not show distress?!!! HORRIBLE!!!!!

    June 29, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. Nancy G, Richmond Va.

    The fact that poor Seamus seems to have had "nervous diarrhea" down the car window showed how much he "enjoyed" his roooftop ride. This shows a serious lack of empathy and concern for another living creature, and would lead me to question the depth of Romney's decision-making in other matters, too. To treat the family pet so callously is appalling.

    June 29, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. cheryl jacksonville florida

    It's funny PETA I love my six animals and have killed wild animals in my younger days but I want a tiger skin! Which I love cats more than any animal next to a horse. But I have deer skins rabbit fur all over my house. So am I bad or good to PETA!

    June 29, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  25. Travis West Fargo, ND

    I agree with PETA. It will save pet owners a lot of money. No more having you pets "fixed". After all would you do it to your kids?

    June 29, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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