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. Ron, Detroit

    If Mitt's kids liked playing on the highway, would he let them do that too?

    (OK, he probably would....)

    June 29, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Cory, San Francisco, CA

    This guy is a genious! Just another example of his innovation and creativity. Why haven't all Americans been doing this? I believe it is completely acceptable. That's where the family dog belongs. Does PETA let the family dog eat at the dinner table? That's where the kids eat?

    June 29, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Mike, Chicago

    It’s hilarious that liberals care more about the welfare of animals than aborted human lives..

    Posted By Joe, Millville, NJ : June 29, 2007 2:54 pm


    Hey, you're the ones who killed 600,000 in the Middle East (so far).

    June 29, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. b cole

    Oh come on, how may times have you seen a dog riding in the back of a pickup truck with know protection at all. I have know of accidents happening where the dog was leaning over the back bumper and was thrown out and badly hurt. Find some other pour candidate to hurass.

    June 29, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Janet Sorensen, Little Rock, AR

    I do not like Mitt Romney or PETA. But I must be missing something. If the dog likes it, who cares? No, I would not put my kid up there, but I wouldn't let my kid sleep in a doghouse or eat Pedigree Crunchy or chew on a pig's ear, because my kid is not a dog!
    Too bad, now a lot of folks will vote for him just because PETA hates him, and he really is an idiot. Maybe the story was leaked by his campaign manager.

    June 29, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Bruce Dries, Indiana, PA

    "My dog likes fresh air."
    "He scrambled up there every time."

    Know what? Dogs also like to roll in poop, and will stick their heads waaaaay out the windows of fast-moving cars. They don't understand the dangers of technology. That's what their master's are supposed to protect them from when they TAKE CARE of their pets.

    Frickin' idiot.

    June 29, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Patty, Atlanta, Ga

    I need to correct one thing I said –

    at least the dog wasn't rolling around in the back of a truck....

    June 29, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |

    Lets strap Romney to the roof of a car and see how he likes it!

    June 29, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Gammy, North Little Rock, AR

    That is more humane that letting one ride in the bed of a pickup truck untethered; allowing the dog to fall or be thrown out onto the highway and hit by an oncoming vehicle, or by the person following behind, which happens daily.
    I am neither for or against Mr.Romney's politically, but do think it unfair to persecute him for this action.

    June 29, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Sean, Florida

    Yeah here's one. I married a therapist who says that anyone that can do this to a dog can do it to a human. Meaning – He doesn't mind seeing people or animals suffer because he has no respect for life, animal or human. He only cares about himself and that dumb hairdo. It's 2007 buddy take care of that gray-top.

    June 29, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Greg, Eagle, ID

    So what about the millions of people that drive around with their dog running around in the back of their pickup truck and no protection whatsoever? Get real. Granted, traveling with your dog strapped to the roof in a carrier is probably not the best idea, but at the least this guy had his dog in protected crate of sorts.

    June 29, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. S.Dofelmier;Seattle Washington

    The way a person treats their pets, can be a pretty good indicator of how they look @ all life in general. The life of a dog, which was created by God should be respected and treated with dignity.
    Maybe Mitt will figure this out someday.

    June 29, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. James, Lafayette, CO

    Amazing. Romney endangers his animal's life in a, I have to admit, bizarre fashion, and all people can do is complain about PETA. Fine. They are a radical organization, and much of what they do and say is questionable.

    Ignore that and focus on the fact that a grown man strapped his pet to the roof of a car. First, who comes up with an idea like that? And second, do you want that someone leading the country? I don't. I doubt there could ever be a statistical correlation between the strapping of live animals to one's car and being the leader of the free world, but I would not trust the judgement or the mental workings of someone who had. I certainly would not want him able to send the military into foreign countries based on questionable intelligence, or be able to call up and order a nuke dropped on someone. Such a silly article, yet such a great glimpse at Romney. And a scary one.

    June 29, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Bob Coronado, Davie, FL

    Hmm Just what the country needs... Another Compassionate Conservative.

    What a Joke.

    June 29, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Ryan, Normal Illinois

    This changes my whole view of the 2008 election, wow! But really, this doesn't even matter and won't effect his Presidential run. I mean it happened a quarter of a century ago!

    June 29, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Beth R., Madison, WI

    What is wrong with all of you people?
    Are you fans of dog-fighting too?
    If it's such a non-issue, why is Romni even responding? Because any normal, thinking, caring person would not even consider traveling with their dog on the roof of the car! If someone does something that stupid, I don't want them in the White House. Of course, i don't want Bush there either.

    June 29, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |


    June 29, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Jaren Lange, Custer Washington

    PETA should be banned from the earth, their arguments are stupid and their reasoning ignorant, all you PETA lovers are just looking for attention and a reason to exist, animals were put on this planet to serve man and as mans friend, we did bare them from our mothers, they are not people and should not be treated as or better than people, so please, PETA members, email me explain to me why you are all some of the most intolerable people on the planet, maybe we should throw paint on you for being stupid and annoying.

    June 29, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Ann Koral Rochester, New York

    Now I definitely have never been a fan of PETA. And I am the biggest dog lover ever. I like to say "Mitt, what are you thinking!" But I won't. Only because I don't think you did anything wrong. This was pulled from 20 years ago. I assume the dog we speak of has passed away. And I also assume that you were careful that the crate was fully secured to the vehicle. What is PETA's problem. This is BY FAR the most biggest waste of time yet.If PETA needs something to do they can come to my house and save the Woodpecker that works on my eaves looking for bees that no longer live inside there. I will gladly oblige them at 430am!!!

    June 29, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. Carl, Dallas, TX

    I bet if the US passed a law similar to South Korea that most of these posts would dissapear! We need to do something like that to get incoherent babble from people off the web, even if it is stuff that i post! Anyone else remember Bill Clinton sleeping around with everyone and yet we still elected him... what's worse?

    June 29, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Sammy, Kennel Estates, Arlington, Va

    Woof, my name is Sammy (alias). In recent years, I have worked for the FBI's Animal Division, sniffing for bombs and explosives. I don't mind the work, but if I had a choice between sniffing for bombs or riding on a car top, I'm taking the car top. It's much safer. My dog friends are getting a big kick out of this particular story concerning your fellow human, Romney. After we trained you to walk behind us and pick up our poop, we knew we could get you to do pretty much anything we wanted, but now it is bordering on the asburd. Especially those PETA people. They DO NOT speak for me. We think it would be best if you drop this and move on. Well, headed into the woods to chew on some little creature I my happen on and I hope this is over when I get back.

    June 29, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Diane Sawyer

    Well he's got the TYPICAL MENTALITY of a STUPID POLITICIAN is all I can say! MORON!!!!

    June 29, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Jon, Arcata, CA

    I am not taking either side on this matter. It is ridiculous that PETA is attacking Romney based on such an old and trivial matter. But at the same time, Romney defending his actions by saying the dog climbed up there on its own is just silly; my son likes to climb into the bed of my pickup, but I don't let him ride back there! How about some articles regarding the candidates stance on contemporary issues that actually have bearing on our society!

    June 29, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Lexington, ky

    Anyone that straps their do to the roof of their care is someone that would NEVER get my vote. It really shows how much he thinks of the family pet.

    June 29, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Delores, Newport Beach, CA

    1983???? Give me a break!!!! That was 24 year ago!!!! This is EXACTLY why I HATE political campaigns. Why does there have to be so much mud slinging, name calling, etc. Why can't each of the candidates focus on their campaign issues and STOP trying to point fingers at their opponents. Just focus on your campaign promises and do your best to keep those campaign promises if you're elected!

    June 29, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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