Entries in Seamus (4)


Dog Lovers Blast Ann Romney over ‘Inhumane’ Dog Treatment

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney’s dog days aren’t over.  The Republican presidential contender remains in the doghouse as his campaign continues to be dogged by the old story of his family’s Irish setter Seamus.

Seeking to quell ongoing criticism over the presumptive GOP nominee’s decision to make the family pooch ride in a dog kennel strapped to the roof of the family station wagon during a 12-hour trip, Ann Romney said on Monday that “the dog loved it.”

“He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation,” Mrs. Romney told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.  “It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.”

While Mitt Romney has brushed off his treatment of Seamus before, Scott Crider, the founder of Dogs Against Romney, said Ann Romney’s defense of the dog-on-the-roof story was even more of a “disappointment.”

Crider said Mrs. Romney “failed” at humanizing her husband and instead “sided on the side of transporting a dog on the roof of a car.”

“What they did was inhumane,” Crider said.  “It’s irresponsible pet ownership.”

When asked on Monday if they would do it again, the Romneys chuckled before Mitt Romney said “certainly not with the attention it’s received.”

Seamus was the second most asked question by online Yahoo users leading up to the interview, Sawyer pointed out.

Mrs. Romney said it was “crazy” how much attention the story got during both Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, when the Boston Globe first reported it, and again during his current White House bid.

The day after the ABC interview with the Romneys, the “Dogs Against Romney” Facebook group, which Crider started in 2007, added its 48,000th fan.

“I think it matters to people,” said Crider.  “Everyone understands that how someone treats their pet and what they do when nobody’s watching speaks to their character.”

“How is this guy going to solve our economic problems when he possibly has a total lack of empathy?” Crider added.

While the Seamus incident happened more than 20 years ago and the Irish setter is now dead, Bob Bannon, a senior advisor for the “Mitt is Mean” political action committee, said the story is still relevant today because, he said, “It’s a metaphor for how he treats public policy problems.”

“He’s indifferent, he’s insensitive, he doesn’t care,” Bannon said.  “He comes across as a cold-blooded corporate CEO.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Ate Dog Meat as a Boy

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Much has been made about Mitt Romney putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof in 1983 and driving from Boston to Canada.

Democrats have signaled they have every intention of making sure the American people -- especially dog-lovers -- know the tale.  In January, senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod tweeted a photo of the president and Bo in a car, with the snide observation: “@davidaxelrod: How loving owners transport their dogs.”

The Romney campaign signaled Tuesday night that they are not about to cede any ground when it comes to a candidate’s odd past with man’s best friend.  And the Obama campaign shot back, with a spokesman suggesting that the Romney team was attacking a child, since the Obama act in question took place when he was a kid.

The Daily Caller noted that in President Obama’s best-selling memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, the president recalls being fed dog meat as a young boy in Indonesia with his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.

“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy),” the president wrote.  “Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths.  He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”

After his mother married Soetoro, Obama lived in Indonesia from 1967 until 1971, from roughly the age of 6 through 10.

The discovery that the president had eaten dog meat prompted wise cracks on twitter and a tweet from Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom, who re-tweeted Axelrod’s original message with a different take on the picture of the president and Bo.

"In hindsight, a chilling photo,” Fehrnstrom wrote.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt tweeted this in response: "What’s the next attack @EricFerhn and the RNC will surface on a 6-10 year old?”

The Seamus story was discussed again on Monday when Ann Romney told Diane Sawyer that “the dog loved” traveling that way. 

“He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation.  It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks,” she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ann Romney: Dog Seamus ‘Loved’ Trips Atop Family Car

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(BOSTON) -- Seamus, Mitt Romney’s Irish setter who traveled with his young family strapped to the roof of their station wagon, “loved” those trips, despite once getting ill, Ann Romney told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

Seamus’ 1983 trip from Boston to a summer cottage in Ontario, Canada, inside a dog carrier lashed atop the family’s Chevrolet, has become a regular barb in Romney’s side and is routinely used by his critics to paint him as uncaring.

Mitt Romney told Sawyer that the Seamus attacks were the most wounding of the campaign “so far,” but his wife Ann Romney insisted the dog loved traveling that way and looked forward to trips.

“The dog loved it,” Ann Romney said.  “He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation.  It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.”

Adding to the left’s narrative that Mitt Romney had little compassion for the animal is a detail from the 1983 trip that Ann Romney confirmed to Sawyer.  The dog became sick, defecating all over itself and the windshield of the car, leading Mitt Romney to hose them both off before they continued on the drive to Canada.

“Once, he -- we traveled all the time -- and he ate the turkey on the counter.  I mean, he had the runs,” Ann Romney said, laughing as she explained how the dog got diarrhea.

In a 2007 blog written during Romney’s first campaign for the presidency, Ann Romney said the dog rode “in an enclosed kennel, not in the open air” and compared the experience with a person riding on a motorcycle or roller coaster.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Dogs Against Romney'? Democrats Say, Unleash the Hound!

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Tuesday at noon, outside the Westminster dog show at Madison Square Garden, the group “Dogs Against Romney” will protest “to ensure pet lovers are aware that Mitt Romney is mean to dogs,” according to the group’s press release.

While it may seem silly to some, Democrats have every intention of making sure -- if Romney wins the GOP nomination -- that every voting American knows about the story of Romney putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof and driving from Boston to Canada, with said canine making his displeasure known in a rather scatological way. “I have a yellow Lab named Winston,” Fox News’ Chris Wallace said to Romney. “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?” “This is a completely airtight kennel, mounted on the roof of our car,” Romney replied. “He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home a great deal of the time as well. We loved the dog. It was where he was comfortable.”

“When Seamus crapped all over the car I’m fairly certain he wasn’t expressing pleasure,” one top Democrat told ABC News. “Thirty-one million dog owners vote,” said another.

Democrats are still trying to figure out the best way to bring this up. Certainly it wouldn’t be done by President Obama or any top surrogates. But given the world of social media, not to mention shadowy third-party groups, there is no shortage of ways for Seamus Romney to become a household name.

The incident has been used by Newt Gingrich in a Web ad attacking Romney’s heralded electability, and top Democrats have every intention of pushing it into the American psyche. They feel, a la John Edwards’ $400 haircut, it says something about the man -- namely that he’s “weird” and “heartless,” top Democrats say.

Ironically, the story of Seamus was first reported by the Boston Globe in a 2007 report profiling Romney as a problem-solver:

“Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.

“Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it.

“The ride was largely what you’d expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ‘white whale.’

“As the oldest son, Tagg Romney, commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ‘Dad!’ he yelled. “Gross!” A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

“As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.” Saturday Night Live made reference to Seamus in a skit over the weekend. Lanny Davis wrote about it at The Huffington Post last month. New York Times columnist Gail Collins mentions Seamus so often that searching for his name in her column has become like hunting for NINAs in a Hirschfeld caricature. David Letterman references it quite a bit as well. And Axelrod tweeted a few days ago: “How loving owners transport their dogs,” along with a picture of President Obama and Bo riding together in the presidential car.

Democrats believe that in a swing election that could be decided by a whisker, the knowledge of the Seamus anecdote could be "ruff" on Romney.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio