Seamus, Mitt Romney's Irish setter who traveled with his young family strapped to the roof of their station wagon, "loved" those trips, despite once getting ill, Ann Romney told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.
Seamus' 1983 trip from Boston to a summer cottage in Ontario, Canada, inside a dog carrier lashed atop the family's Chevrolet, has become a regular barb in Romney's side and is routinely used by his critics to paint him as uncaring.
Mitt Romney told Sawyer that the Seamus attacks were the most wounding of the campaign "so far," but Anne Romney insisted the dog loved traveling that way and looked forward to trips.
"The dog loved it," Ann Romney said. "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."
Adding to the left's narrative that Romney had little compassion for the animal is a detail from the 1983 trip that Ann Romney confirmed to Sawyer. The dog became sick, defecating all over itself and the windshield of the car, leading Romney to hose them both off before they continued on the drive to Canada.
"Once, he - we traveled all the time - and he ate the turkey on the counter. I mean, he had the runs," Ann Romney said, laughing as she explained how the dog got diarrhea.
In a 2007 blog written during Romney's first campaign for the presidency, Ann Romney said the dog rode "in an enclosed kennel, not in the open air" and compared the experience with a person riding on a motorcycle or roller coaster.