A story about the Romney family’s pet Irish setter has dogged the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the past few days.
The Boston Globe reported that Romney strapped their family’s pet dog, Seamus, in a carrier atop a station wagon for a 12-hour family trip back in 1983. This weekend during a news conference in Iowa, Romney scoffed at those who’ve accused him of animal cruelty.
"Sometimes when the stories come out in the media they don’t quite get it accurate," Romney said. "The kennel that my family pet used to ride in is enclosed. It’s not an open air kennel. It’s enclosed and there are air vents, of course, at the back and my family pet used to climb up there and lie down on his own and we love our family pets, have always loved our family pets and have nothing but honor and pride in taking care of great dogs. We’ve had quite a few."
During a campaign appearance in Pella on Saturday, a woman in the crowd asked Romney if he would turn to the Bible or the Book of Mormon during times of crisis. Romney, who is Mormon, calls it a "fair question."
"Any voter that wants to ask their (question) on a topic is free to do so," Romney said during that news conference later in the afternoon. "I’m happy to respond as I think is best."
Romney oftentimes tells crowds that Republicans "share the same values, and that he considers the Bible to be the "word of God" and Jesus Christ his "savior."
Romney suggested on Saturday that he may decide to deliver an entire speech focused directly on questions about his Mormon faith. "A couple of campaigns have raised this issue and that may lead me to give an address on it at some point, but I don’t have any current plan or a time table for that," Romney said.
During the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy responded to critics of his Catholic faith by declaring that the pope would not tell him how to act as president. The head of the Mormon church holds the title of president of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.