Liberal Media Rips Romney For "Torturing" His Dog
Oh yes, the story is true. It's old news and Romney has never disputed the facts of the tale, other than to attempt to dismiss questions on the incident and say that he's always loved his dogs very deeply.
Back in 1983, Romney packed the family into their white Chevy station wagon for a much anticipated vacation and set off on a 12-hour road trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada. Of course, the family's Irish setter, Seamus, didn't ride in the car. Romney placed the pup in a pet carrier and strapped it to the top of the vehicle.
Neil Swidey and Stephanie Ebber with the Boston Globe reported back in 2007: "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."
Obviously, the make-shift windshield did little to comfort Seamus. Swidey and Ebber went on to write: "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."
While the incident hardly places Romney in the same league as Michael Vick, it certainly raises disturbing questions about the character of a man who is already fending off accusations that he is "unfeeling," "heartless" and "out of touch."
Moreover, the incident may prove more damaging to Romney than anything he has encountered thus far. People love their pets and the Seamus saga will certainly tug on the heart-strings of people who are not necessarily turned off by accusations of "flip-flops" and "vulture capitalism."
Proving that even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow exclaimed that the incident is "the kind of intangible that can define a presidential campaign." As much as we hate to admit it, Maddow is right. Substance be damned. People will gravitate toward the personal, and this story most certainly fits the bill.
To make matters worse, Romney's evasions and dismissive responses on the matter have only added fuel to the fire. When initially confronted on the incident in 2007 by FOX News anchor Chris Wallace, Romney simply tried to laugh the story off and claimed that the dog actually enjoyed sitting on the roof. Ouch! Such attempts to dismiss the incident certainly don't help Romney and, should he win the GOP nomination, the Team Obama vultures will most certainly use the story against him to pick the flesh from the bones of his campaign.
Mitt Romney doesn't call us for advice, but if he were to do so, we'd simply tell him that it's time to come clean on the Seamus saga. Evasions and sound-bite responses won't cut the muster. Admit you made a horrendous mistake and move on. Otherwise, this story will come back to bite you and the poop will most certainly hit the fan.