Newt: Seamus Story Paints a “Picture” of Mitt

In Georgetown, SC colloquy with Mark Halperin, Gingrich says Romney’s dog-on-a-car-roof incident would be an electability issue versus President Obama.

Newt: “I think that there are many characteristics that come out in the course of a presidential campaign. From the use of words, like ‘I like firing people’ — which didn’t mean he liked firing people but he said, ‘I like firing people,’ which sounds like I like firing people even though it wasn’t — to putting a dog on the top of a car for nine hours. All these different things paint a picture. All of us have pictures. And the governor has to figure out whether or not that picture is electable. I wouldn’t want to debate Barack Obama with that in my background.”

Bonus: Watch Gingrich’s two daughters talk about high-school-aged Newt’s brave attempt to rescue his dog, Pride.

Read the transcript below.

Halperin: “You’re a big pet lover, animal lover.”

Gingrich: “I am a big pet lover, yes.”

Halperin: “So this issue of electability, for a lot of voters is a serious issue — I’m not kidding — Gov. Romney once putting his family dog on the roof of the car and taking him on a long trip. Do you object to that treatment of animals that way and do you think that’s an electability issue as well?”

Gingrich: “I can’t believe you came up with that question, a man of your sophistication, your deep understanding of American politics. All I’ll tell you is I know an amazing number of pet lovers. Both my daughters, for example, have dogs. My sister is a big cat person, etc… I think you can go out — why don’t you go interview ten dogs lovers and ask them their reaction?”

Halperin: “I have. A lot of them think it’s a really bad thing.”

Gingrich: “Well, I think that gives you sort of a general answer, doesn’t it.

Halperin: “Well, what do you think of it?”

Gingrich: “Well, I just, you know, I’d rather not have been in the kennel all the way to Canada. Personally doesn’t strike me as a very good thing to have done. But that’s just my personal bias, you know. But then, as an army brat, we used to have a Doberman Pinscher who rode in the car with us a lot. That has a different set of challenges. But, I love animals and I’m, you know, I’m on the opposite team. I actually think it’s fun to have animals. I think that it’s fun to like your pet enough to actually be near them.”

Halperin: “But, again, it’s a serious question. Some people think that it’s part of a portrait of Gov. Romney that would make him vulnerable in a general election. Do you see it as that important an issue or no?”

Gingrich: “I think that there are many characteristics that come out in the course of a presidential campaign. From the use of words, like ‘I like firing people’ — which didn’t mean he liked firing people but he said, ‘I like firing people,’ which sounds like I like firing people even though it wasn’t — to putting a dog on the top of a car for nine hours. All these different things paint a picture. All of us have pictures. And the governor has to figure out whether or not that picture is electable. I wouldn’t want to debate Barack Obama with that in my background.”

Related Topics: Mark Halperin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, 2012 Elections, News, Original Video, Republican Party, The Page, Video

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