Gingrich dogs Romney with pet story
January 11th, 2012
05:57 PM ET
10 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. Rudy NYC

    Reagan's 11th Commandment was nothing more than clever ruse to disarm his opposing candidates. And the suckers fell for it, hook, line and sinker. They were fooled because Reagan presented the honest, altruistic argument that one should be overly critical of one's fellow party members because it provides fuel to the real opposition. That is genuinely true, which is why his fellow candidates fell for it.

    Reagan had uncontestable name recognition because of his acting career, his time served as governer of CA, and his now legendary "Time For Choosing" speech in the 1964 election cycle, which defined the conservative ideology for decades. But, he also had his controversial flaws that were not widely known. By convincing his opponents to not talk about his flaws, not in the least, Reagan wound with a cake walk to the Republican nomination over George H.W. Bush and others.

    January 12, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    when the left and Democrats bashed Newt the right came out and defended him, he was even the front runner at one time. But now when the REAL Newt shows up, the one the left always knew was there Limbaugh and the righties don't like it. A leopard can't change his spots, Newt is like "If I can't have it then NOBODY will" Nice going there GOPers.

    January 12, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. shoegazer

    ARMYCSM: Far be it for me to be defending the likes of Mitt Romney but his assertion that coporations are people is fundamentally correct.Due to a court decision in 1886,Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad,it was concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause granted constitutional protection to coporations as well as to natural persons.

    January 12, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. andy

    If he unflinchingly does this to his family dog, think of how he would treat our troops, not to mention the American people. This is truly a glimpse into Romney's evil psyche. As psychologists will tell you, past behavior is the best predictor of future performance.

    January 12, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Taylor

    IIt does not matter what they say.....they are not going to win in 2012. The American People are smart and they know
    what is going on. Mitt I dont care if he has monie his way of thinking i scare the hell out of me.The direction the REP want to take us is in the wrong direction. And the people knews this.

    January 12, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Gurgi

    We need a conservative in the white house. Another 4 years of Obama and we'll be just like Greece, giving our children away because we cannot afford to take care of them.

    January 12, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Skitownrefugee

    So if the kennel was as Romney says "completely air-tight", wouldn't the dog be subject to the possibility of suffocation? You don't leave a dog in a car with all the windows rolled up do you? Maybe the rest of the family should have put Mitt in the kennel. "Here boy! Come on good boy. Let's go Mitt – jump in your kennel. That's a good boy Mitt – you'll be safe in there." (with no air)

    January 12, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Dogs on the roof Newt?? Seriously?? It has come to this NONSENSE??!!! You and Perry need to drop out NOW. You're doing far more damage to yourselves than Romney. You are both proving to be extremely ridiculous.

    January 12, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Anthony


    The fact that the law treats corporations as people does not mitigate the stupidity of a politician making such a statement.

    January 12, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    The Greeks are giving their children away Gurgi? REALLY???!!! Wow! Can you please advise what the President has done to make you feel this way. I mean, he DID add those wars to the budget so we can see how much they cost, but they were well underway for 7.5 years prior to his entering the WH. Funny that your ilk hates the $$$ being spent, but at the same time, bash him for following the previous occupants of 1600's withdrawal timeline and whine that he's abandoning those nations. So which is it – do you want to stop spending $$$, or do you want to continue with all war, all the time.

    January 12, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Skitownrefugee

    Gurgi my friend. It was "conservitives" Bush and Cheney who got us into this mess – not Obama. If Mitt gets elected, we'll be back on track to do it all over again. Why can't so many people remember this – Bush & Cheney and the republican policies were responsible for this colossal recession. They were handed a booming economy that was generating surpluses and they handed Obama a disaster. Those are fact Gurgi. Be careful what you wish for my friend.

    January 12, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Peter

    Hello?!!! Where are the issues? During the entire republican campaign trail, all we've heard about is all their money. What religion they practice. Who spent the most in what state. NO SOLUTIONS!!! Nothing about fixing whats wrong in our country right now. How do they get away with it? It's crazy Every state they go to, it's like a soap opera, no substance what so ever. And the media feeds in to it. Money questions, campaign money, self worth money. What's ironic about the whole thing is, the economy is in the can, but, we hear about the multi-million dollars all day everyday. Resolutions please!!!!! Sick!

    January 12, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. kenny

    The only difference between the Republican bids for the White House and Ringling Bros. Circue is that Ringling Bros. only have 3 Rings for their Clowns to perform in while Republican Clowns will perform anywhere. Tomorrows FLASH HEADLINES will probably read.......... SEAMUS ROMNEY (the family dog) endorses Barack Obama because of more humane treatment. To further show how out of touch Romeny is with reality, you do not place any pet in "AN AIR TIGHT CONTAINER".

    January 12, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. sunpacific

    "This is a completely air-tight kennel mounted on the top of our car." (?!?)
    Really? How the heck did the poor dog breathe? No air-holes? Hey Mitt, let's throw you in a completely air-tight container and see how "comfortable" you'll be. My Subaru has a roof rack that we could tie your kennel onto and we'll take a spin around South Carolina. Seriously, this might actually make you seem interesting.

    January 12, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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