Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he wouldn’t put his dog his car roof again “with the attention it’s received.”
According to a 2007 Boston Globe profile of the Massachusetts Republican, Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, yelled, “Gross!” as he noticed a brown liquid flowing down the back window from the Irish Setter Seamus, who had been riding on the roof of the family’s station wagon for hours during a family trip in 1983.
“As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station,” the Globe noted. “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.”
In a recent interview, ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked the candidate if he would do it again, according to a transcript released by the network on Monday.
“Certainly not with the attention it’s received,” Romney admitted.
While Romney was cautious about saying more, his wife, Ann, defended her husband’s actions.
“The dog loved it,” she said. “Once, he — we traveled all the time and he — 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. It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks, so.”
In the past, Ann Romney has also compared the Seamus’ rooftop ride to the experience of riding on a motorcycle or roller coaster.
In a statement released Tuesday, Dogs Against Romney creator Scott Crider admitted he was “stunned” that Romney only regretted the incident because “the attention it’s received.”
“We continue to be stunned — and disappointed — by Mitt Romney,” Crider said.
“I’m tremendously proud of the tens-of-thousands of highly engaged members of our ‘Super Pack’ on Facebook who flooded Diane Sawyer with questions about the Romneys’ dog cruelty incident,” he added. “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.”
During her Monday World News broadcast, Sawyer promised the Seamus portion of the interview could be watched online, but it was not available at the time of publication.
Watch this video from ABC News, broadcast April 16, 2012.