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A Pet Project for Romney?

Romney at the Nashua Rotary Club. (Getty).

By Juliet Eilperin
NASHUA, N.H.--At a Nashua Rotary Club event this afternoon, an audience member posed a question to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney that he had never contemplated: As president, what would he do to combat the nation's burgeoning pet population?

For a moment, the well-versed candidate seemed stumped. "I don't know how many pets there are in this country. I was pretty well prepared for the debate the other night..." he said, trailing off as the audience burst into laughter.

Undaunted, Romney explained he would tackle the pet overpopulation problem the same way he handled problems he had faced in the business sector: by establishing a committee, bringing in outside experts with different perspectives and "take it seriously as an important issue."

Well then, the questioner asked, could she sit on his White House pet committee?

"You can be part of my committee," Romney responded, joking that he was already offering patronage jobs to New Hampshire residents as part of his campaign. "There are government jobs going here, right now."

Romney devoted most of his remarks at the Nashua Country Club not to the question of unwanted animals in America, but to the question of how to handle illegal immigrants and other challenges facing the nation. Outlining a new "to do list" his campaign has started using, he detailed 13 priorities ranging from making America safer to balancing the budget. The blue-and-white banner left the space next to numbers 14 and 15 empty, however. So there's room on the Romney platform for his new pet policy -- if he wants to add it to the list.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 7, 2008; 2:37 PM ET
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To ddruck
"This is Ron Paul:
His terrible record in Congress:
Driven by attitude that the federal government should not play a role in
protecting animals from cruelty. Rep. Paul one of only 31 members of U.S.
House of Representatives who voted against every single animal protection
measure that came up for a vote in 2007.

Voted in March to keep federal penalties weak for dogfighting and
cockfighting... Voted in April against restoring decades-old protections for
wild horses and burros, instead opting to let them be sold for commercial
slaughter. Voted in June to allow wealthy American trophy hunters to shoot
polar bears in the Arctic and bring their heads and hides back home...

It hasn't always been this way for Ron Paul:
Voted, several years ago, to cut funding for lethal predator control,
trapping on national wildlife refuges, and trophy hunting programs in
foreign countries. But...libertarians like Paul don't want to see laws
enacted that restrict personal behavior, even if that behavior may involve
dogfighting or eating mustangs."

Still think we should vote for this idiot? I don't.

Posted by: loudininc | January 17, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The author of this article, the person who asked the question and Mr. Romney all need to read a dynamite little book by Nathan O. Winograd entitled "Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation". Knowledge is power.

Posted by: etbmfa | January 9, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse


Hopefully, you cannot vote in this year's AMERICAN election either (unless you are from Missouri or Wisconsin)?

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I shudder when I hear a voter say "he seems like a genuine person, or a likable guy." If you use the word" seems" in a sentence describing what made you choose a presidential candidate, you should be appointed a handler or a sane family member before you cast your ballot. And this is especially true with those voting for Huckabee on his value as a likable guy. It should be a federal offense to admit in public or much lessudder vote for a president on the premiss of likability in this day and age, If a block of , or a majority of voters ever again get a president elected in any way on whether he seemed nice, the sheer naiveity of it should bring on the calimity it provokes.

Posted by: montrealslim2002 | January 7, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse


McCain would give all "pets" amnesty? What, like the Thanksgiving turkey that gets pardoned every year?

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what Romney would do, but I am certain of what John McCain would do - give them Amnesty !! McCain is nothing but a Ted Kennedy Kiss-Äss, phony republican.

Posted by: free | January 7, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The "pet" industry is certainly covered by the Commerce Clause: For 2007, it estimated that $40.8 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.


Food $16.1 billion
Vet care $9.8 billion

Supplies/OTC Medicine
$9.9 billion

Live animal purchases $2.1 billion

Pet Services: grooming & boarding
$2.9 billion

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BOBSTERII | January 7, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse


Please cite to said "false statement(s)" or STFU.

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Is this really a burgeoning national problem? I don't know of any state to state packs of pet animals running wild... this is more of a local issue of spay/neutering. The questioner needs to get off the federal solution to all problems.
Sure, it's a question to see Romney's response... but he should have said it's not a federal matter... unfortunately not 'politically correct' to say he'd give it the attention it deserves instead of taking it 'seriously as an important issue'.

Posted by: richardunn | January 7, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"by establishing a committee, bringing in outside experts with different perspectives and "take it seriously as an important issue."
Now that sounds like an innovative approach. Maybe our current Chimp in Chief should try that instead of shutting out and demonizing anyone who disagrees with him.

Oh and BTW, not the first false statement JakeD has posted.

Posted by: thebobbob | January 7, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks he was being serious is an idiot.

While I cringe to imagine Romney in the White House, I almost feel sorry for him these days. He's become a media punching bag. It's not like it's not his fault; I mean he's about as steady as a paper bag in a hurricane. But still... for some reason I can't explain, I want him to win in New Hampshire. Maybe it's just because Obama would wipe the floor with him in the general election. Well, he'll probably lose, just like in Iowa, and his campaign will sputter and die. But the republicans will still have no idea who they are going to vote for. McCain? Giuliani? Huckabee? Ugh...

Posted by: thinkpad20 | January 7, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

We use the tax code for just about everything else. Make spaying and neutering a tax credit maybe even to include the cost of an implanted ID chip. It would probably cost less than is now spent on dealing with unwanted pets, especially over time. Things like limits and ownership would have to be developed could even include strays brought to pounds, etc. if petnapping could be controlled somehow.

Posted by: Valjean1 | January 7, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Thank you very much, IAmNotALawyer -- Bob Barker is indeed not dead.

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Romney actually said he would form a committee on pet population??? Wow!!! Just what we need... to make government bigger with another committee so we can make it even more intrusive into our lives! While Romney gives lip service to the Constitution, he obviously doesn't know that the federal government does not have the authority to become the nation's dog catcher. Isn't that something local government would handle much more economically and effectively?

Talk about big government on steroids! What's next? Romney's Department of Marital Aids?

Vote for Ron Paul!

Posted by: ddruck | January 7, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the spaying and neutering might be a good idea for some of the presidential candidates as well!

Posted by: bcurry66 | January 7, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Bob Barker isn't dead. He just retired from "The Price is Right." But spaying and neutering your pets remains a good idea.

Posted by: IAmNotALawyer | January 7, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Romney would have all unwanted pets strapped to the roofs of cars and driven to Canada. Problem solved.

Posted by: bokonon13 | January 7, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

As the late Bob Barker used to say . . .

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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