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Mitt, Ann Romney defend putting dog on car roof; fallout continues

April 17, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during the Tri-State Tax Day Tea Summit at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt… (Jessica Kourkounis / Getty…)

Reporting from Washington — As Mitt Romney’s campaign seeks to humanize him in the eyes of prospective voters, one issue beyond his policy stances or his stump statements continues to follow him – his treatment of the family dog Seamus during a family vacation in 1983.

Criticism over Romney’s decision to place Seamus in a dog carrier and strap him to the top of the family’s car during a 12-hour drive to Canada has gone so far as to lead to the creation of a “super PAC” to raise awareness of the incident.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, aired on ABC’s “World News With Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline” on Tuesday night, both Mitt and his wife, Ann, defended their treatment of Seamus.

“It was, to me, a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for, in a kennel for two weeks,” Ann said.

When Sawyer brought up that Romney took Seamus down from the carrier when the dog fell ill to hose him down before putting him back up on top of the car again, Ann minimized the attention paid to the incident.

“We traveled all the time, and he ate the turkey on the counter. I mean, he had the runs. But he would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy, because he was going with us on vacation.”

The questions on Seamus’ treatment were prompted by a campaign led by the group “Dogs Against Romney,” which requested that its Facebook followers bombard ABC News with requests to ask Romney about it. Sawyer said that it was one of two issues that prompted the most requests from its audience, the other being Romney’s Mormon faith.

Romney, when asked whether he would repeat his actions during the family vacation, said he wouldn’t, “certainly not with the attention it’s received.”

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Scott Crider, the creator of Dogs Against Romney, showed no indication of being deterred by the candidate's remarks.

"The pack wants answers and, honestly, we keep hoping the Romneys will begin to understand the cruelty and illegality of what they did to their dog. Sadly, the Romneys keep falling short," he said.

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morgan.little@latimes.com

Original source: Mitt, Ann Romney defend putting dog on car roof; fallout continues

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