Mitt Romney 'dog-on-the-roof' story appears in Newt Gingrich ad

3:24 AM, Jan 13, 2012   |    comments
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Mitt Romney. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

By Jeanne Moos

New York (CNN) - Mitt Romney's dog Seamus may have passed away years ago, but his story keeps getting resurrected.

It's the "dog-on-car-roof" ruckus revisited, and it has Republicans barking at each other.

Like most dogs, Mitt Romney says his dog Seamus liked fresh air.

He's getting plenty of airtime now thanks to New Gingrich's anti-Romney ad dredging up the old dog-in-the-kennel-on-the-car-roof story.

"We had five kids inside the car. My guess is he liked it a lot better in the kennel than he would have liked it inside," said Romney.

There's even a web site "Seamus 2012" that pretends it's Seamus speaking from doggie heaven. The original story was written by Boston Globe reporters back in 2007.

Writer Neil Swidey confirmed details of the story with Romney family members.

Way back in 1983 the Romneys piled into their station wagon for a 12 hour trip to Canada with the dog in his kennel on the roof.

Keep in mind, Romney had built a special windshield for the kennel, so when he put Seamus the dog up there on the roof, he was protected from the wind.

At some point, one of Romney's sons yelled to his dad that a brown liquid was dripping down the back window.

"To me, Mitt Romney treated his dog like a mattress or Christmas tree," said Swidey.

There were comments from Howard Stern, and a parody song on YouTube. There's even a re-imagined Hitler parody using a scene from downfall.

Anti-Romney demonstrators have popped up with stuffed dogs on car roofs, but the writer of the original article thinks the most interesting angle has been missed.

:When the dog is in distress, Mitt Romney pulls off the side of the road, into gas station, borrows a hose, washes it down and then puts dog back up there," said Swidey.

As he wrote, "it was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.


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