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Mitt Romney’s Cruel Vacation

Written by PETA | June 28, 2007

Slate/Creative Commons

Did you happen to see this Boston Globe story about Mitt Romney? The reporter opened the piece with a Romney family story about Mitt strapping the family’s Irish Setter, Seamus, to the roof of his station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario. When the terrified dog lost control of his bowels and his waste covered the roof and back window of the car, Romney apparently calmly pulled over and simply sprayed the car—and the dog—down with a hose and hopped back on the highway.

Unfortunately, there is no punch line; I am not kidding. The reporter thought this was a fine example of Romney’s “emotion-free crisis management” style, but who knows. Here’s what PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk said to an enquiring press:

“First, as a charity we can’t and don’t endorse or oppose any candidate for public office, but I can say (and not just as a person who grew up with an Irish Setter!) that any individual who does something like that may have what scientists term the absence of the mirror neuron, i.e., a pin-pointable absence in the brain of the characteristic which allows the individual to feel basic compassion. The implications are frightening. Anyone who suspects that they are not able to feel empathy for others needs to be aware of the existence of this condition. What is also worrying is that Mr. Romney seems to hold the very old fashioned idea that he needs to actively show he is heartless, hence the hunting claims he has made. Not subsistence hunting, but pride in killing defenseless animals for sport, for fun, for show. In the case of the dog on the roof of the car, if this is true, quite remarkably it obviously wasn’t for show as only his own children were watching, a lesson in cruelty that was also wrong for them to witness. There was also the obviousness of the situation. Thinking of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation on the roof, it is commonsense that any dog who’s under extreme stress might show that stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone should have been sufficient indication that the dog was, basically, being tortured. If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog! I don’t know who would find that acceptable. Mr. Romney needs to tell the world he realizes this was not humane. People do stupid things and one day realize it, so better late than never.”

Thanks to Ana Marie Cox, founder of Wonkette, now’s Washington Editor, for noticing the story on and jumping on it.

Commenting is closed.
  • Patricia Rudner says:

    This is unbelievable animal cruelty and an unthinking or ignorant act. Mitt R. has disqualified himself as a Presidential candidate. He is not qualified!

  • JeannieD says:

    Mitt kills for the thrills strapped his dogin carrier to the top of his car and someone suggested for his punishment to appologize and “work wanimals”! I wouldn’t let him near my pets children grandmother OR my country!!

  • Liz says:

    What a jerk!!! I didn’t really know who he was until I saw him yesterday at our 4th of July parade in Clear Lake IA. I won’t be voting for him that’s for sure!

  • marie yount says:

    this type of behavior is common with hunters. republicans are not know for their animal or envioromental beliefs. i wonder what joseph smith would think of this behavior

  • Lisa says:

    Who would EVER strap their dog to the roof of their car??? Sounds like a scene from “There’s Something About Mary”! Bad call Mitt

  • marie machado says:

    I cant believe that this asshole would do such a thing.He needs to be tied up there for 12 hours..What a piece of shit..that is abuse.

  • shannon petty-salazar says:

    I am absolutely disgusted and appalled by Mitt Romney. I am also disgusted and appalled by the posted comments by “Eric” on June 29 2007. Why Eric is on the PETA website making comments such as these is beyond me. He speaks of the far left his comments show he is for the far right and has no compassion for animals. He rants on and on regarding Democrats. I won’t bother stooping to his level and reporting all the wrong doings of the Republicans. Are you kidding me Eric? Put your time and energy into something else other than posting nasty comments on a site that supports animals.

  • Darlene McCarter says:

    Had no idea he was such a bastard. Belongs in the same catergory as Judith Giuliani.

  • sharon Legg says:

    what a numb scull some people really need a lesson in dog owning

  • elle says:

    This is so sad. Some people are so completely heartless it’s scary. Romney needs to make a public statement acknowledging what a terrible mistake he has made. In addition he should have animal cruelty charges brought against him he should have to do a public service announcement as part of his punishment as well as community service working with animals. Maybe once more people hear about this they will be less likely to support him in an election hopefully.

  • Sarah D says:

    The fact it happened some years ago does not detract from the fact it DID happen. He also is a thrill kill hunter. Non compassionate and not a suitable candidate.

  • Karen Marie says:

    Isn’t it strange? I couldn’t tell you a thing about a character with a name like Mitt until I found this thread and now I’m relieved. That is one less idiot getting my vote. If a man has no common sense think what a joy for president he would be. Fine example in the chair right now.

  • Christine says:

    ANYONE who can do this to an animal does not need to be leading this country! It is scary that more people do not see this for what it is….CRUEL!

  • Andrew S. says:

    All those that are opposed to the fact that he put the dog on top of the car need to settle down. Or better yet why don’t we ticket and arrest all of you for child neglect. Why you ask in 1983 23 years ago your children weren’t in car seats. That is neglect and punishable under the law.

  • L.B. Tartaglia says:

    I just love it when the PETA crowd gets going… everyday thousands of dogs and cats are put in Kennels and loaded into cold drafty cargo holds of airplanes… Also just got back from MA and most people think Mitt did a good job… in fact universal health care take effect today… he also cleaned up the corruption ridden BIG DIG… let’s face it you guys are bigoted towards him because he is Mormon.

  • Allison says:

    Did she strap the booster seat to the top of the car?

  • autum says:

    wht an asshole y would u do tht 2 the family dog? and glove dogs do not belong on top of a car 4 12 hours in a carrier or not

  • Mike says:

    Quote from an article Massachusetts’s animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from carrying an animal “in or upon a vehicle or otherwise in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon.” An officer for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded to a description of the situation saying “it’s definitely something I’d want to check out.” The officer Nadia Branca declined to give a definitive opinion on whether Romney broke the law but did note that it’s against state law to have a dog in an open bed of a pickup truck and “if the dog was being carried in a way that endangers it that would be illegal.” And while it appears that the statute of limitations has probably passed Stacey Wolf attorney and legislative director for the ASPCA said “even if it turns out to not be against the law at the time in the district we’d hope that people would use common sense…Any manner of transporting a dog that places the animal in serious danger is something that we’d think is inappropriate…I can’t speak to the accuracy of the case but it raises concerns about the judgment used in this particular situation.” Whether a thing is cruel or not should be considered from the animal’s perspective not ours.

  • Kelley says:

    What an asshole! This tells me everything I need to know about the loser.

  • Allison Strathearn says:

    Even if the crate was humane you are never supposed to leave a dog crated for more than 68 hours without a break. If he had let the dog out before 12 hours it might not have defacated. If this moron cannot even take care of his pets then how the $ is he going to run our country? Heaven help us all!!!

  • Johnny says:

    No Andy Mitt is not a cocksucker. He hates cocksuckers too remember? I am amazed that some of you say this “lost your vote” for Mitt. Because of the way he treats his dog? Where was your scorn when he was treating your fellow humans so cruelly? Is your brain turned off when gays or women or people of color get the carrier on the top of the car? Wake up already! IF you have to think about that one you’re no better than Mitt so save your selfrighteousness for someone else.

  • RomneyHater says:

    Progressives must do everything in their power to make sure this guy gets nowhere near the presidency.

  • Michele says:

    Well Frank the stories you are talking about probably just would not be relevant on an ANIMAL RIGHTS website you twit! And did your friend’s kid get strapped in the booster seat on the roof of the car or inside the car? If inside then your friend was being protective if on the roof then it was child abuse. And Eric since you seem to have a wonderful design in mind for this new skin purse why don’t you make up a sample from your girlfriend’s skin first since I am presuming your girlfriend is not a vegetarian then her skin will not have been ruined by vegetarianism and see if you can find a market for it? You can decide if you think you should barbecue your girlfriend’s skin first or not… I am not American so I will not get the chance to NOT vote for this Romney loser. Anyone who does vote for him would have to be psychopathic if they knew about what he did to his poor dog.

  • Norell Shute says:

    Mr. Romney You’ve lost any possibility of receiving my vote. I am amazed that you would strap your dog in his crate to the top of your car and then drive with him. Worse than that you claim that he loved it. We all know that young children and animals are unable to determine what is safe for them therefore it is our job to protect them from harmful circumstances. Dogs are known for their loyalty they will let you do almost anything to them and still love you and protect you. You in turn abuse your poor animal by putting him in danger and them try to tell us that the dog “loved it” because he was always willing to do it again. I thought perhaps a presidential candidate would have more smarts than the other abusers we see around the US apparently not and you have the nerve to advertise your abuse!!! I’ll do my best to convince every animal lover I know that you are not the candidate we want to represent us. Sincerely Mrs. Norell Shute Proud Owner of Two Rescued Dogs and Three Rescued Cats

  • Linda McClure-Woodham says:

    Where can I personally contact this “person” and tell him what a jerk he is? He needs to withdraw from the race for Pres. now! He is nuts and cruel beyond words.

  • Frank M says:

    I had a neighbor who used to strap her child into a booster seat. The kid hated it and would cry every time. One time she was so upset she wet her pants. My point is that sometimes we have to do what we have to do and not worry about what some pinheads are going to think. Knowing Romney as I’ve come to if he felt that the situation called for transporting the animal in a rooftoptype dog carrier then it was the right thing to do. For a bunch of armchair quarterbacks to be questioning this incident some 24 years later only shows how far the left has to stretch things to find something to complain about. Is this the worst you could find on him? Meanwhile Hillary pressured her husband’s rape victim into hushing it up to protect their careers destroyed evidence to stay out of jail and drove a subordinate to suicide or worse Slick Willy perjured himself and sold pardons to criminals and sold influence and nuclear technology to our enemies while letting Osama move around the planet in open view and Teddy abandoned a drowning young girl to save his reputation. Where are those stories?

  • Eric says:

    Hey guys when is the new Ingrid Newkirk Skin Purse coming out? My girlfriend collects rare furs and skins and really wants the Ingrid Newkirk Skin Purse. Another question will she be skinned first before she is Barbequed or afterward I’d hate for the skin on the purse to be damaged anymore than the horid looks that vegetarianism can incur.

  • Maya says:

    I’m from Massachusetts and I had to live under this man’s dictatorship for a long time. This guy is terrible in so many ways you have no idea. This dog cruelty bit does not surprise me in the least!

  • kelly says:

    In addition to the horrific cruelty this could have resulted in a dangerous highway accident. A carrier is not intended for a high wind velocity demanding situation like this. This carrier could have broken into pieces depositing carrier chunks and dog through the windshield of a nearby car. This is an incredibly STUPID and DANGEROUS thing to do in addition to being cruel!

  • jessica says:

    This is absolutely mortifying!

  • Wendy says:

    I wouldnt’ have voted for him anyways because I refuse to vote for a hunter but this is just insane. I don’t care if it was a carrier and if the dog had a screen to protect it from wind. I wouldn’t want to be put in a cage on top of a car either.

  • Andy says:

    Mitt’s a cocksucker

  • K says:

    If the dog was in a carrier how did he defecate all over the car? The bottom line that people need to grope is that animalsbig small different or not WHATEVER.. CAN and DO feel pain.. it is wired in them as it is in us. Be kind towards humans be kind towards nonhumans.

  • Conner says:

    What a moron! the country does NOT need another dick cheney! I hope he accidently shoots Mitt too!

  • Gina says:

    How could his wife have allowed that? Or doesn’t she get a say? If my husband tried to strap our dog to the roof of our car …well he would no longer be my husband!

  • blitzwolf says:

    There PETA goes again completely blowing the entire story out of proportion in hopes of getting a few hits for their website. I’m surprised you had the guts to post the actual article. READ THE ARTICLE FROM THE NEW SOURCE PEOPLE! WAKE UP!

  • tairyn says:

    i saw this on while at work today and all i could think was “cant wait to see what Jack has to say about this”….this guy sucks….

  • David says:

    I’ll accept the criticism of Mitt by any of you who have never done the following 1 driven with your children or pet unseatbelted or worse on your lap 2 driven while talking on your cellphone 3 put on makeup while driving 4 exceeded the speed limit 5 driven after consuming even one beer or glass of wine 6 and tossed a cigarette from your car window. If you have never done any of these things which have risked the lives of pets and people then go ahead and criticize. You know when I was a kid in the 70’s I remember my parents taking my siblings me and our dog on a long roadtrip in our VW van and none of us wore seatbelts besides the driver. I guarantee you that Mitt’s dog was safer strapped to the top of the car than we were in that van. I suppose my parents were evil for not thinking way back then about my safety above convenience.

  • K says:

    The roof of a car? How fing cruel!

  • Ana says:

    Where to begin?? Poor dog in a carrier strapped to the roof of the car for 12 hours is bad enough. But this fool thinks nothing of the poor dog’s misery which lead to his having defecated in fear and probably because of need after so many hours. He just continues as if nothing had happened after he washes the car and dog down. This guy is scary. President??? Of what…cruelty?? Wow not much room there for kindness compassion or intelligence. Whew setting such an example to his kids and public who reads this article is just horrible. Needs lessons in sensitivity for all creatures.


    He just lost my vote……. what a jerk…………

  • L Garrison says:

    I found Mr. Romney’s website and sent him a little note on what an IDIOT he was and that I wanted animal cruelty filed against him and as punishment he should be put in a “carrier” strapped to the roof of a car and driven down the highway at 8o mph. This inhumane person wants to be president? IDIOT!!!!!!!

  • Jessica says:

    Even with a windscreen it is obviously a terrifying experience and carriers are not known for their wide room and comfort. They are meant to be used on short trips such as to the vet. Not on a 12 hour trip. You would not want to be trapped in one of those for a 12 hour trip inside the car let alone strapped to the roof not understanding what’s going on or how long you’ll have to endure this. What a terrifying experience…

  • Jim says:

    It should be noted that in the article it says that the dog was in a carrier with a wind screen. The dog was not just strapped down to the luggage rack.

  • A says:

    What a bastardnow that is truly 100 heartless.Says a lot about his character. Don’t know the direct quote You can tell about a society on how it treats its animals. Ghandi ????? I wanna strap him to a carplease please please and drive around the state of Utah.He has to b naked though.Singing that song that Freakshow sings in Harold and Kumar go to white castle Imagine that in your head. The dog would be in the front seat hanging out the window and eating doggy treats!

  • Glove says:

    Finally someone who understands where the dog belongs on top of the car not in it!

  • Maya says:

    I live in Massachusetts and I lived under Romney’s rule. He makes Bush and Cheney look like saints. You think I’m exaggerating right? We all have an obligation to stop this man from ever being in power again. He is an evil evil man. I’m surprised he didn’t snap the dog’s neck. He is the worst dictator in history.

  • katie says:

    WHAT??? this is absolutely unbelieveable… “emotionfree crisis management”?? a great euphemism for sociopathy!! heartless SICKO.

  • Fritz says:

    I am speechless. This man wants to run this country?

  • Gisele says:

    There’s an elephant in the room and its Mitt Romney