Late Night: What Really Happened to Seamus Romney?

Seamus Romney and Friends

This morning I watched part of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Ann and Mitt Romney. Sawyer had asked viewers what questions they’d like to ask the Romneys, and the subject most asked about was why they had taken a 12-hour road trip with their Irish Setter Seamus in a “crate” (Ann’s word) on the roof of their station wagon. (Here’s a post I wrote about this awful episode last year.)

“Honestly, would you do it again?” Sawyer asked. Both Romneys laughed heartily in their condescending, entitled way. “Certainly not with the attention it’s received,” Mitt replied, still laughing.

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.

Ha ha ha ha. So funny. Ann said that for Seamus it was like riding a motorcycle or a roller coaster. He enjoyed it, both Romney have said. Now who here thinks it would be fun to ride a roller coaster for 12 hours straight? As reminder, here’s an expert opinion about what it was really like for Seamus that I linked to in my post a year ago.

And when the contents of Seamus’ bowels streamed down the car windows, Mitt pulled into a gas station, hosed down the dog, the crate, and the car; put Seamus back in the crate (still soaking wet, presumably), and drove blithely onward to Ontario and his family’s ritzy summer retreat.

The more I thought about it, the angrier I got; and I ended up surfing around for hours searching for more information. I learned that Mitt’s sister, Jane claimed to have cared for Seamus for a time after the trip to Canada in 1983. Jane told The Boston Globe that Seamus loved to wander around town:

[He] was such a social dog that he often left Mitt Romney’s Belmont home to visit his “dog friends” around town. “He kept ending up at the pound,” she says. “They were worried about him getting hit crossing the street.” So a few years after Seamus’s ride to Canada, Mitt sent Seamus to live for a time with Jane and her family in California. “We had more space, so he could roam more freely,” she says.

I had to wonder if Seamus was actually trying to escape his overbearing master, the Mittster. Then finally, I came across an article from this past January at Politiker that raised the possibility that Seamus never returned from the 1983 trip to Canada.

Mitt Romney may not have told the whole truth about the scandalous tale of his Irish Setter, Seamus, being strapped to the roof of his car during a 12-hour family road trip to Canada. According to a trusted Politicker tipster, two of Mr. Romney’s sons had an off-record conversation with reporters where they revealed the dog ran away when they reached their destination on that infamous journey in 1983.

Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, has previously said Seamus survived the trip and went on to live to a “ripe old age.” As of this writing, Mr. Romney’s campaign has not responded to multiple requests for comment on this story.

Aha! The plot thickens. And then, what do you know? Just today, the Politicker landed another scoop. Jane Romney’s ex-husband, Bruce H. Robinson, spilled the beans on his former wife and brother-in-law. It seems that the couple divorced in 1980–three years before the fateful trip–and Seamus stayed with them before they broke up.

Mr. Robinson, a doctor and nephew of the late president of the Mormon Church Gordon Hinckley, married

Jane Romney in 1958. In 1968, he flew to France to care for Mr. Romney after the future White House hopeful was nearly killed in a car crash while working as a Mormon missionary. Mr. Robinson told us he and Jane Romney did indeed take Seamus to live with them in California, but that it was before 1980 (the vacation in question happened in 1983), and they gave the dog back prior to the notorious rooftop road trip.

Mr. Robinson said Mitt and Ann Romney gave Seamus away because they “couldn’t handle” the dog, which Mr. Robinson described as “a wanderer” who had a propensity for running away.

“They had a couple of their little boys at that point,” Mr. Robinson said. “So they gave him to us.”

He thinks this was in the late 1970s–it had to be before 1980, after which time the couple no longer lived together.

“We were living in the Sacramento area, and so, Jane and I, in the 70′s, I’d say ’78 or so, but I’m not 100 percent sure about that,” Mr. Robinson said. “So, we took care of Seamus, a beautiful, magnificent dog. We had three other dogs of our own, but we had an acre of property overlooking the American River, so we had lots of land to take care of these dogs and for them to roam around in.”

Mr. Robinson said he’s certain they gave the dog back to the Romneys when he and Jane got divorced in 1980. At that point, Jane went to live in Southern California, and Mr. Robinson said she was unable to “handle the dog” on her own.

Mr. Robinson told Polticker that Seamus ran away a lot when he was staying with them, just as he had in Belmont.

So what really happened to Seamus? Did he run away in Canada and seek asylum with a more loving, supportive family? Or did he expire from the stress of riding mile after torturous mile on the roof of a car. Did he die in that “crate” that Ann Romney claims he loved so much? What really happened to Seamus?

The Romneys must be pressed for truthful answers. They cannot be permitted to continue laughing this off in their usual high-handed, dismissive manner. Americans want the truth!