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ACTIONS AS GOVERNOR:

Governor Romney makes Proclamation in behalf of Dogs:

“In honor of Governor Mitt Romney declaring September 2006 "Responsible Dog Owner's Month, " Representative Jennifer Callahan will be presenting the Governor's proclamation. Dozens of dogs and their owners will be gathered for the event. The MSPCA will be highlighting dogs that are available for adoption. Nationwide, throughout the month of September, the AKC holds events to educate the public on how to responsibly care for their dog. This is the first time the State of Massachusetts has declared "Responsible Dog Owner's Month." ”

Romney Administration signs animal cruelty legislation:

“ "Governor Romney and I are committed to fighting animal cruelty and will not stand for the inhumane treatment of animals," said Healey. "By increasing penalties for animal abuse, we will help save pets from cruel treatment."

“The new law charges all individuals who abuse animals with the increased penalties. Under the previous statute, pet owners faced lesser penalties for abusing their animals than individuals who abused animals that did not belong to him or her...

“The law also allows Department of Social Services (DSS) employees to report instances of animal abuse, cruelty or neglect when they are conducting investigations. The DSS employee may report the case to any local animal control authority or organizations that investigate animal abuse within two days of witnessing the abuse.”

Governor Romney Rescues Dog:

“Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and two of his sons helped rescue a New Jersey family from a sinking boat over the weekend, a New Hampshire official said today.

“The 19-foot vintage wooden boat with six people and a dog on board started taking on water ... ''It took on water very quickly and they donned their life vests and jumped out,'' Sergeant Robertson said. One passenger tried to dial 911, but water soaked the cellphone, he said...

“ ''The Romneys took two of the passengers and brought them back to shore,'' Sergeant Robertson said...

“Mr. Fehrnstrom, who spoke to Governor Romney on Sunday about the incident, said the governor's two sons hopped on a motorized water scooter, while the governor got on another. They went to the sinking boat, and Governor Romney brought people to shore while his sons stood by at the scene. The Romneys also saved the family's dog, he said... McKenzie, a Scotty, the family dog.”


PERSONAL LIFE AND PETS:

Pet History (by Mitt's wife, Ann):

“Our First Dog - Seamus

“Mitt and I love our dogs. Seamus was our first--an Irish setter. When I wasn't at home, Mitt let him sleep on the bed. And usually when he was riding in the car, his head was out the window. Seamus lived to a ripe old age, basking in the affection of a large family...

“We are a dog family. Casey was our Bichon, McKenzie our Golden, and Marley our Weimaraner. Marley had 8 puppies, which Mitt delivered all night for her one summer.

“When she died last year, she was in Mitt and our arms, and we all cried. Yes, we love our dogs.

“Now horses, that's my love too. Mitt rides them--I love them. But that's another blog.”



Love of Dogs Passed on to Kids:

(quote from blog entry of Ben Romney)

“Kingsley is half yorkie, half poodle (a yorkie-poo, though I hate to actually admit to owning a dog called a yorkie-poo). He’s a great dog, here’s a picture if you’re interested. Some other Romney pets include an Australian shepherd named Reggie that belongs to Tagg's family and a standard poodle named Winni in Josh's family. You will have to ask my brothers which one is the best behaved.”

After Election- back to caring for dogs:

“BOSTON (AP) — Tagg Romney was in his office the other day when the door opened and in popped his father, Mitt Romney, dropping off the family dog.

“It was a mundane task that highlighted the Michigan native's change in fortunes: Instead of managing a White House transition, or preparing to assume the vice presidency, the man who failed in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and was passed over by John McCain for running mate is focusing on his family and political interests.”

More on Seamus:

“Mitt Romney's sister Jane ... says he was such a social dog that he often left Mitt Romney's Belmont home to visit his "dog friends" around town. "He kept ending up at the pound," she says. "They were worried about him getting hit crossing the street." So a few years after Seamus's ride to Canada, Mitt sent Seamus to live for a time with Jane and her family in California. "We had more space, so he could roam more freely," she says.

“Seamus came to her home as a dog who hated cats. But over time, he changed his ways. By the time one of her cats had a litter, Seamus let the kittens crawl all over him, and he became protective of them, she says. "This dog was Mr. Personality." ... if Seamus didn't like the arrangement, he wouldn't have accepted it. "He was a Houdini," she says. "He could get out of any space you put him in." ”

Brought Family Pets on Family Trips:

“The white Chevy station wagon with the wood paneling was overstuffed with suitcases, supplies, and sons when Mitt Romney climbed behind the wheel to begin the annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario... The destination for this journey in the summer of 1983 was his parents' cottage on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron. Romney would be returning to the place of his most cherished childhood memories...

“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.

“And it offered his sons a rare unplanned stop.

“ ''Think about it,'' Tagg says, ''a 12-hour drive and the only time we stop is to get gas. When we stop, you can buy your food and go to the bathroom, but that's the only time we're stopping, so you'd better get it all done at once.'' Yet there was one exception to Mitt's nonstop policy. ''As soon as my mom says, 'I think I need to go to the bathroom,' he pulls over instantly, and doesn't complain. 'Anything for you, Ann.'.'' ”

DESPERATE OPPONENTS ATTEMPT SLANDER:

Political opponents used the previous story to claim abuse.

Several stories were written with several amused responses.

Here are some highlights:

TIME Magazine - Romney's Cruel Canine Vacation:

“... the details of the event are more than unseemly — they may, in fact, be illegal.

“The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus's rather visceral protest.

“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." ...

“Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was less circumspect. PETA does not have a position on Romney's candidacy per se, but Newkirk called the incident "a lesson in cruelty that was ... wrong for [his children] to witness...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." Romney, of course, has expressed support for the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques when it comes to terrorists; his campaign refused to comment about the treatment of his dog.”

Hot Air mocks TIME magazine:

“Mitt's campaign in ruins after very serious bombshell bursts at Time.

“Note the byline [who wrote the article]. Looks like they save the really big scoops for their most esteemed reporters. What, no gratuitous sodomy reference?” [Author of article has history of writing for very liberal websites and being quite crude. Currently she contributes to Playboy.]

“Comments:

“What does that say about a man when THAT is all they can come up with? By that account, Romney must be the most squeaky clean person around. I can’t wait to hear how he once exclaimed “shucks” after stubbing his toe...

“Really big scoops – Haw, Haw!
So it’s against the law to have a dog in an open bed of a pick-up truck? Never mind gay marriage – that has to be the biggest cultural divide between Massachusetts and Texas...

“You have got to be freaking kidding me.
And they tie it in with Romney’s stance on interrogation techiniques?
That is pure comedy gold. I thought I was reading the Onion. Then again, TIME is really not much better most of the time, so who really cares?

“Still chuckling. And it’s not even Friday! That Cox chick just doesn’t have a good instinct for comic timing, does she? ...

“Makes the man real. This is one of those ‘this ain’t no ****’ war stories you tell around the camp fire. What that video would be worth! ...

“Sounds like a motorcycle ride to me!
I must be a masochist.
if this is all they got on Mitt, he IS squeaky clean...

“So I had to poo at work today, can I sue? I was showing extreme stress, I’ve clearly been tortured! ...

“Wow, Time is pathetic. Have they really come to this? I bet Brownback forgot to take the trash out one time. It must be investigated! ...

“Dog on car top = criminal behavior.
Woman in sunk car = no big deal.

“Mitt vs. Teddy
No need to say more

“Told my dog about this and now she wants me to strap her crate on top of the car and take her for a ride. I think my Collie is leaning towards voting for Mitt now...

“Dog poop on the windows of a Republican candidate must be more threatening to our freedom than stacks of FBI files in the White House office of the former First Lady’s former law partner. And, the dog poop doesn’t stink as much. [Reference to mysterious death of White House Counsel Vince Foster during a Clinton investigation and the subsequent cleaning out of all the files in his possesion getting minimal press coverage] ...

“Good Lord! This is a new low for Time. This is the sort of crap I would expect to read in Mad Magazine. What’s next?

Romney Leaves garden Hoses on Lawn
Romney Joins In Brutal Pine Cone Fight (1953)
Romney Leaves Seat Up

I mean really... "Cruel Canine Vacation"??? ...”

''Hot Air was launched on April 24, 2006, with Michelle Malkin as founder/CEO. Since then, the site has become one of the largest right-of-center blogs on the Internet.''

What The Crap? - Time Magazine Sinks To New Low:

“This story is so far reaching, so absolutely absurd…I don’t even know what to say. Cox, as well as the pathetic editorial staff at Time, should be ashamed even for considering publishing this garbage. If I had to dig all the way back to 1983, to someone’s family vacation – just so I could write a desperate flailing drive-by hit-piece article like this one – I would be demoralized.

“Also, I would be especially embarrassed to include anything from PETA as a serious qoute. PETA’s beliefs can hardly be grounded on any remote shard of rational thought. Obviously – they haven’t spent one iota of brain power observing nature, or they would have discovered that in the wild, animals kill each other constantly. (and in brutal “inhumane” ways). As a side, If they are so concerned with animals – they should do us all a favor and leave civilization themselves and go try to survive in the wilderness. Oh – and they should have to do it completely butt naked, without tools or survival training. (more about PETA to come on WTC...)

“And where would you expect an article with this caliber of stupidity? Try the front page top 6 stories on Time’s website!

“This article is a disgrace to journalism and if I was the manager at Time Magazine, I would fire Ms. Cox on the spot just for putting forth the effort. But then again, given Time’s track record – they probably commissioned it...”

Fox News - Dog Days:

“And Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is getting dumped on by animal rights activists over an old tale of how he used to strap a portable kennel containing the family dog ... to the roof of the family station wagon for long trips...

“The president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says — "If you wouldn't strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog."

“But Romney said yesterday that the dog loved the ride: "He scrambled up there every time we went on trips. He got in all by himself and enjoyed it." ”

Speaking Frankly blogspot comments on Fox News Story:

“Mitt Romney is getting a bad rap... Please allow me to point out, as a parent and a life-long dog owner, that you do plenty of things to your dog that you would never do to your child, such as:

“• Feed your dog out of a bowl on the kitchen floor

“• Have your dog spayed or neutered before it hits puberty.

“• Make your dog live in a small, uninsulated house in the back yard, year 'round.

“• Put your dog in a small box in the bed of your pickup to transport it.(They are called dog boxes, and they are abundant in the south.)

“• Rub your dog's nose in the little present (s)he left in the den.

“• Cage your dog while you are at work so you don't have to hire someone to watch it.

“Really the list could go on for days...”

The Romneys respond:

“Mitt Romney has been criticized for strapping the family dog on top of his vehicle during a family trip. Saturday night in Des Moines, he was asked to explain. Here's his response...

“Romney said, "Sometimes when the stories come out in the media, they don't quite get it accurate. The kennel that my family pet used to ride in is enclosed. It's not an open-air kennel. It's enclosed. And there are air vents, of course, in the back. My family pet used to climb up there and lay down on his own. We love our family pets, have always loved our family pets, have nothing but honor and pride in taking care of our great dogs." ”

“ "You know, PETA has not been my fan over the years," Romney said. "PETA has been after me for having a rodeo at the Olympics and were very, very upset about that. PETA was after me when I went quail hunting in Georgia. And PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air." ”

“Surprise, surprise, the media didn't get the dog story right. Our dog Seamus rode in an ENCLOSED kennel, not in the open air. And he loved it. Every time he saw it, he jumped up on the tailgate, walked in, and lay down. It was just like the kennel he curled up in at home.” - Ann Romney

MEDIA IGNORED DOG ABUSE:

In contrast to the wide publicity demonstrated in the previous section that was given to a dog's car ride, with nothing but imagined discomfort for the dog, politicians' documented complicity in real and sometimes severe dog abuse has been ignored and dismissed.

The hypocrisy and hollow outrage of Romney's critics are obvious when one considers that democrats, who supported Al Gore's presidency a few years earlier didn't make a peep when there was clear and well documented neglect and abuse of his dog.

Of course there are others, who also got a pass with barely a peep from the press and indignant bloggers, including on the republican side such as Rudy Giuliani, whose wife has caused several dogs to die by performing medical demonstrations on them, and who understandably does not have pets (White House Goes to the Dogs) and former democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson who would lift his dogs up by the ears, causing them to yelp, which he said were yelps of joy and just happy barks. (All the presidents' dogs). And Barack Obama even ate dogs!

Following are news quotes and links on the Al Gore incidents.

AL GORE:

AL AND COCONUT:

“All this talk about Al Gore's dog reminds us of the time in 1994 when D.C. animal-control authorities received an emergency call from a Secret Service guard posted at the gate of the vice president's mansion on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

“The officer reported that a sick dog had been lingering around the vice president's property, and when animal control arrived, they determined the dog, a poodle, required immediate emergency veterinary care. The dog, it turned out, belonged to Mr. Gore.

“(This column confirmed the dog suffered from "maggot infestation of the muscles, resulting from an open, untreated wound.")

“The dog was transported to Friendship Animal Hospital in the District, where the staff was under "strict order" not to discuss the case. But Mary Healey, executive director of the Washington Humane Society, told us:

“ "We had received a call to pick up a dog in the vicinity of the vice-presidential property and we responded to the call. We located the dog. I believe it was a poodle . . . named Coconut. The dog was apparently injured in some way."

“This column's initial source said the guard probably knew the dog belonged to the Gores, but "was just trying to get the suffering animal some help without jeopardizing his job." ”

Inside the Beltway by John McCaslin:

“Inside the Beltway has learned that D.C. animal-control authorities recently received an emergency call from a guard posted at an entrance gate outside Vice President Al Gore's mansion on Massachusetts Avenue. The officer, apparently with the uniformed division of the Secret Service, told the authorities that a sick dog had been lingering around the vice president's property, and could they please send somebody out to pick up the pooch...

“The animal-control people arrived and quickly determined that the dog, a poodle, required immediate emergency veterinary care. According to our source, who works in veterinary medicine, the dog was suffering from "maggot infestation of the muscles, resulting from an open, untreated wound." The dog, it turned out, belongs to the family of Vice President Al Gore. The dog was transported to Friendship Animal Hospital in the District, a 24-hour facility that provides emergency care under director Dr. Peter Glassman...

“Earlier, an employee in Dr. Glassman's office said the staff was under "strict order" not to discuss the case...

“A D.C. animal-control official also confirmed our story earlier this week but said that agency is also "under a gag order." The employee said any official comment would have to come from Mary Healey, executive director of the Washington Humane Society...

“Our initial source said the guard who reported the dog's condition to authorities "claims not to have realized the dog belonged to the Gores, but the animal-control people think he was just trying to get the suffering animal some help without jeopardizing his job." ”

Gore Can't Take Care of His Dog, Coconut:

“ Paul Harvey, June 22 1994: A secret service agent guarding VP Gore's house alerted the Humane Society when he noticed a growling and snarling dog underneath the VP's porch. Upon arrival, the HS vet ordered an immediate operation for the dog, which was suffering from a maggot infestation in one of its haunches due to an unattended open wound. The dog turned out to be the Gore family pet.”