COLUMBIA, S.C. – Newt Gingrich has acknowledged that Mitt Romney’s “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me” comment was taken out of context by many of Romney's critics. That didn’t stop Gingrich's campaign from including it in the Romney blooper reel entitled “For the Dogs,” posted online Wednesday.
But it's a dog story that might turn the heads of voters who make up the dog-lover constituency.
To the playful tune of plucking strings, the video asks viewers to make up their minds on “the most important question this election: Who can defeat Barack Obama in the debates this fall?” What follows is a montage of comments Romney has given that have raised eyebrows, justifiably or not – among them, the now-infamous story of Seamus, the family dog, that Romney once tied to the roof of the car during a 12-hour road trip to Canada. In the story, first reported by the Boston Globe, Romney hosed down the Irish setter and kennel at a service station after the dog began dripping brown liquid down the side of the car.
“I have a yellow lab named Winston. I would no sooner put him in a kennel on the roof of my car than I would one of my children. Question: What were you thinking?” says Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace in the video clip.
"This is a completely air-tight kennel and mounted on the top of our car,” Romney replied, “He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home, a great deal of time as well. We loved the dog. It was where he was comfortable and we had five kids inside the car. My guess is he liked it a lot better in his kennel than he would have liked it inside."
Newt Gingrich doesn’t own any pets, but in late December the campaign launched the website Pets with Newt, which allows supporters to upload photos of their pets. At the time of the launch, Gingrich said it was a fun and positive way to reach out to voters. That, of course, was during the time Gingrich was still running a “positive campaign.”
As to whether Seamus had anything to do with poking at Romney -- “I will neither confirm nor deny that that’s why Pets with Newt was launched,” said spokesman R.C. Hammond.