Independent Republican Presidential Candidate and conservative blogger Andy Martin says that attacks on Mitt Romney for putting his dog in a rooftop carrier on Romney’s station wagon are ridiculous. Andy says back in the day dog lovers routinely allowed pets to ride in the back of pickup trucks. In rural areas, they probably still do.
ANDY MARTIN /2012
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Andy Martin defends Mitt Romney against media accusations of “Caninegate”
Andy reminisces about his departed dogs and gives Mitt Romney a pass on Seamus
(NEW YORK) (February 15, 2012) Tuesday night Ed Shultz on MSNBC was bashing Mitt Romney because decades ago Mitt put the family dog on a rooftop carrier of his station wagon for a vacation. The story of Romney’s dog-on-the-roof has become a political legend (link below). Newton Gingrich, who used cars for more heinous purposes, made a campaign commercial about Romney’s rooftop mutt (link below).
The way things are going right now, with Gingrich heading for the political morgue, and Romney and Santorum fighting to the “death,” I might just emerge from the forthcoming “brokered” convention as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate. At least I know how to fight back against Obama’s dirty tricks. “Barry O” would have to behave himself if I was the Republicans’ presidential candidate. (I knew David Axelrod when he actually worked for a living, before he started spending his time digging up dirt on peoples’ personal lives.) I’m the only “Chicago tough” presidential candidate.
So by defending Mitt Romney I am not endorsing his candidacy. This is just a shout out.
Mitt deserves a respite on “Caninegate.” He did nothing wrong. Rather, placing the family pet in secure carrier on the roof of his station wagon may have been a wise decision. It was certainly a “conservative” approach.
I take a back seat to no one as a dog lover. One of the highlights of my life was serving as the self-appointed “Superintendent” of the “Royal Baghdad Canine Constabulary” in Iraq in 2003. While living in Baghdad I trained wild dogs and used them in the search for Saddam Hussein. We had our secret codes and I ended up as a veterinarian to a litter of puppies. You can see a picture of my two big babies on my personal web site (www.AndyMartin.com).
My love for those animal companions and my work to treat and love homeless dogs in Baghdad became military lore in the neighborhood. The dogs also became a recruiting tool for information gathering.
When my St. Bernard “Grumpy” died in 1977, her passing was a media event in Chi-town. “Grumpy” was one of Chicago’s best-known and beloved canines (certainly more beloved than me). And “Goofy,” a former Chicago girl friend’s dog, still has a place in my heart. The lady is long gone but the love for the dog lingers.
So what gives with the Romney smears?
Let me tell you about my experiences, with the hindsight of decades.
Coming of age in semi-rural Illinois (Champaign-Urbana and exurban farming areas) I had red Chevy pickup truck. And guess what, my dog, and then Goofy and Grumpy together, loved to ride in the back of the open truck. Open, exposed, endangered. And occasionally wet. Yes, we did things like than in those days. In retrospect I don’t think it was very safe, and I’m not sure if it is even still allowed (people can’t ride in the back of pickups any more).
But my dogs died of old age and illness, not from any injury riding along highways in the back of a red pickup truck. They loved the back of the truck. Looking back forty (40) years it seems to me that an open truck is a dangerous way to transport the family pet. But we did it then without a second thought.
And if Governor Rick Perry invited me to campaign down in Texas (he has the time now) I am sure we’d see dogs riding in the back of pickup trucks in rural areas of the state.
Romney, on the other hand, had a special custom carrier for his dog Seamus. My guess is the only complaint Seamus had was that the Romneys didn’t have a pickup truck so he could ride in the open air.
Today most people are a lot more careful than we were back in the day. But back then, dogs loved to ride in the back of pickups. And somewhere up in the sky, Grumpy and Goofy are looking down and barking “Yes we did.”
So lay off Romney for taking his dog on a family vacation. There are reasons to criticize Romney, but endangering the family pet is not one of them. He didn’t leave Seamus back home at a kennel.
P.S. If anyone wants more pictures of my Baghdad babies, Jake and Lucy, just say the word and I’ll post them or send them along. They are in my heart everyday. As for Seamus, if Mitt reads this, Mitt send me an autographed picture of Seamus. It will go in a place of honor (but not on the roof of my car).
P.P.S. You don’t want to know what Newt was doing in his family car. If you want the link, just ask. X-rated. People who live in glass houses…
P.P.P.S. I have a good friend down in Wayne County, Illinois. I’m sure if I had a new dog and a truck and went down to visit my friend Bob for the fall Pumpkin Festival, my dog would want to ride outside in the back. Who’s to say if my better judgment would succumb to let my pooch have an old-fashioned, open-air ride?
Love to all. Beat Obama!
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ABOUT ANDY: Andy is a legendary New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. Chicago Public Radio calls Andy a “boisterous Internet activist.” The Chicago Tribune calls him “Chicago’s own…political activist.” He has over forty years of background in radio and television. He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and he produced the Internet film “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” http://www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on regional, national and international events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience both in the USA and around the world.
Andy has been a leading corruption fighter in Illinois and American politics and courts for over forty years. [www.AndyMartin.com] He is currently sponsoring http://www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com. See also http://www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; http://www.EnglishforAmerica.org
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
Andy’s columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com.
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