Fact Check

Mitt Romney Transports Dog

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney transported a dog atop his car.

Published Jan 18, 2008

Claim:   Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney transported a dog atop his car.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2008]

Is it true that Mitt Romney Republican presidential candidate strapped the cage of his Irish Setter (named Seamus) and drove with it on the hood of his car for 12 hours on the high way? The rumor also says that it (his dog Seamus) pooped itself and he pulled over, sprayed it off and kept going.

Origins:   In June 2007 the Boston Globe reported that in 1983, current Republican presidential hopeful (and former Massachusetts governor) Mitt Romney had placed his Irish setter in a dog carrier on the roof of his station wagon for a 12-hour trip to his parents' cottage on the Canadian shores of

Lake Huron. He'd built a windshield for the carrier to make the ride more comfortable for the dog. He'd also made it clear to his five sons that bathroom breaks would be taken only during predetermined stops to gas up the car.

The dog spoiled this plan by letting loose with a bout of diarrhea during its rooftop sojourn, necessitating an unplanned gas station visit for the purpose of hosing down the pooch, its carrier, and the back of the car.

In that Boston Globe article, the incident was pointed to as an example of Romney's emotion-free crisis management style. Others viewed it differently, regarding the mode of canine transport the dog was subjected to as unnecessarily callous and cruel.

Romney dismisses such critics by saying "They're not happy that my dog loves fresh air."

Last updated:   21 January 2008

  Sources Sources:

    Collins, Gail.   "Haunted by Seamus."

    The New York Times.   4 August 2007   (p. A13).

    Collins, Monica.   "Romney's Dog and Cage Story; Roof Ride Shows Lack of Empathy."

    Chicago Sun Times.   8 July 2007   (p. A28).

    Lehigh, Scot.   "Romney's in the Doghouse with Some Voters."

    The Boston Globe.   29 June 2007   (p. A17).

    Swidey, Neil.   "Journeys of a Shared Life; Raising Sons, Rising Expectations Bring Unexpected Turns."

    The Boston Globe.   27 June 2007   (p. A1).

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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