GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues to be “dogged” by the now legendary 1983 incident when he strapped the family’s Irish setter to the roof of his car during a road trip. Tuesday it was President Obama himself in a stump speech criticizing his opponent on alternative energy. “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it,” Obama quoted Romney in Iowa.. “I don’t know if he’s actually tried that. I know he’s had other things on his car.”
Indeed, Democrats and animal rights advocates have repeatedly referenced the incident – in which the family dog Seamus was placed in a carrier tied to the roof rack -- to try to make the former Massachusetts governor appear heartless.
Now another, louder voice is being been added to the mix: the 1980s new-wave rock band Devo is coming out with a new single titled “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro.”
“This isn’t a red-state thing or Devo stumping for Obama,” band member Gerald Casale insisted to Rolling Stone magazine on Wednesday. “But I think any animal lover that hears the story will learn so much about the character flaw of Romney. It’s just a deal-breaker about the man. My God, the world is a scary place with seven billion people. What you want in a leader is a guy with some humanity at his core. I just don’t feel that Mitt does.”
The animal rights community, of course, is yelping for joy that the band, most famous for the 1980s single “Whip It!”, took to the studio to lay down the track.
“I can’t overstate how excited we are to have DEVO’s Gerald Casale as a partner with us in making sure every voter in America knows Mitt Romney strapped his dog, Seamus, to the roof of his car for a 12-hour trip to Canada,” said Scott Crider, founder of Dogs Against Romney. “The new DEVO song Gerald created with his band mates is awesome, and I believe it will be the soundtrack for Romney’s defeat in November.”
The episode, first dug up by the Globe when Romney ran for president in 2008, is one campaign bone that is liable to be chewed on until election day and beyond: A Google Internet search for “Seamus” and “dog” returns at least 808,000 results.