Romney’s Answer To Pet Overpopulation Question


If you were president, what would you do to solve the overpopulation crisis of pets in America? How do you think Mitt Romney would answer this question? (Remember the story of how Romney put the family dog on top of the car during road trips?)

At an event at Nashua Country Club earlier this week, Mitt Romney was asked this question by the director of the Humane Society for Greater Nashua.

Karen D. Bill asked, “I’d like to ask you a question that has not been asked throughout this whole campaign of any candidate so far. There is an extreme overpopulation crisis of pets in this country. Millions upon millions and there’s very few solutions … I’d like to get your thoughts on over maybe some creative solutions … outside of giving each (illegal aliens) a cat and a dog as they go back home.”

Romney stated, “One of the reason those questions have not been asked is because it has not been thoroughly researched in the way that you have. And I’m gonna use this to describe how I solve tough problems. I don’t know how many excess of pets there are in this country. I have to be honest with that. I was pretty well briefed for the debates the other night. The cat and dog population and guinea pigs and the ones most concerned of course, gerbils … I intend to become better informed I’m sure with your help.”

Romney added that he would try to solve the pet overpopulation problem in the same manner he handled problems in the business sector. He would establish a committee, bring in experts and “take it seriously as an important issue.”

He further said, “When you find a problem you start with data…”

Source: Washington Post, Boston Herald

(Thanks menusux)

50 Responses to “Romney’s Answer To Pet Overpopulation Question”

  1. catmom5 says:

    That response certainly doesn’t earn him my vote (although he didn’t have it to start with . . .) He does not have a clue!

  2. Nora and Rufus says:

    Just another phony huckster at a loss for words, posing as a responsible party member. Like Mike Huckabee, posing as a man of God……what a joke.

  3. Nancy G. says:

    He’s a moron and a phony. He could have just said he hadn’t looked at that issue, he’d need to study it further. And not make it jokey, which is insulting. It seemed to me he was saying she was a crazy animal person let’s all worry about the gerbil overpopulation ha ha ha.

  4. Macushla says:

    Apparently, he thought this question was funny. Sums him up as a human being — totally lacking in sense or compassion — someone I would never want to run this country.

  5. NH says:

    When Romney speaks, this is what I do:


  6. Poodlluver says:

    “and the ones most concerned of course, gerbils …”

    ummm, WHAT !!!???
    What the heck does that even mean? wow..

  7. Katie says:

    What an idiot!

  8. shibadiva says:

    Strap this fool to the roof of a van and get him outta town.

  9. Maria says:

    His answer started out as stupid political puffery-speak, then deteriorated to smarmy when he brought up the gerbils…no surprise there. I wouldn’t have voted for the goofball anyway.

  10. Bobby Taylor says:

    Mitt Romney is a dolt! How can he possibly run this country without having an in-depth understanding the animal overpopulation problem! The solution is simple: Hire Bob Barker as a Task Force Leader to head up the charge to save these creatures. Short of that, I say unleash the police to neutralize the problem. You can grind them up into food for real animals!

  11. Rose says:

    What a flip answer to a serious question. We have the data, it doesn’t take committees, it takes ONE accountant who can add a subtract how many pets are killed vs. adopted. Nothing more or less…. then we need leaders who have the brains to act responsibly with that information!

    His desire to use committees is another way of PRETENDING to act and care without doing any direct action with the problem. Problems can be buried in committees and no actions taken for the entire administration of an elected official, who is off the hook since it’s money is spent on the committee not the problem.

    I hope you all forward his flip remark to every pet lover you know and it makes it around to the entire American population who loves their pets… along with his dog on the car roof ride!

  12. my4meezers says:

    I’m with you NH.

    This just reinforces why I didn’t even consider giving him my vote during the NH primary.

    I grew up in Nashua and am glad to see the director of the Humane Society of Greater Nashua tried to bring the issue to light even if Romney thought it was a joke.

  13. Hazel Chambers says:

    Is this guy on some kind of controlled substance…what an idiotic answer!!!

    IMHO…this is a flip and disrespectful response to a serious question.

  14. Tanya says:

    I forgive the guy for not knowing there is an overpopulation problem. There really are bigger issues for presidents to contend with. What i don’t forgive him for is takign something that *anyone* thinks is a serious matter and turing it into a joke and her (i’ll assume it was a her, forgive me if it was a him) and turning her into a laughing stock.

    If i bring up the importance of the malnurishment of our elderly in nursing homes; if i bring up the problems of non-indegenious plants killing off native plants; if i talk about the extreme dangers of wildfires — you better at least show that you respect me, that you respect that there are many important issues in this world that don’t involve war and aren’t necessarily your expertese at.

    What would have been so wrong with saying “i’m not well versed in this area but clearly you take it seriously. I think that one important thing to remember is that our country has - or should have - avenues for real people to take real issues and where we can get real answers to questions. I hope my presidency makes sure that we do what we can to have good communication between state and local and federal authorities to address issues that are clearly important to your community”.

    It’s a stock answer for all kinds of things, it doesn’t make a joke of anyone, and it shows that you respect that there are many things you dont’ know, but that doesn’t make them less important.

  15. Buddy & Belle's Dad says:

    Form a committee ???
    Remember the definition of a committee - a group of people who alone can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done.
    Of course it’s the typical political response. Let’s form a committee (at taxpayers’ expense) and continue to pay them ludicrous amounts for brainstorming (more like brain-drizzling) the idea.
    Wonder what Hillary’s response would have been? “I have so many wonderful opportunities for pets in this country” and then break down in (phony, theatrical and rehearsed)tears.
    Worse, think of what Dick Cheney’s response would be.
    Oh well, at least we can get a few good laughs out of our politicians. Remember people, don’t try and be stupid, that’s what we have elected representatives for.

  16. Kevin says:

    LOL. I heard political responses like this on sit-coms. This guy said absolutly nothing. At least he did not mention AB1634.

    He would establish a committee, bring in experts and “take it seriously as an important issue.”

    Nice try Mitt. You still don’t have my vote IDIOT!

  17. Judy says:

    He is an idiot I only wish he had “taken the silver” instead of the gold when he was elected governor of Massachusetts.

    Can you believe this guy he spent $50 million in New Hampshire and still didn’t win. Get a clue Mitt you are not going to be the next president.

  18. FiverCat says:

    Mit Romney is a moron. We’ve known that for a long time. Animal welfare matters tremendously to a great number of people…people that vote…people that will not vote for a moron. Can you put 2 and 2 together Mr. Romney?

    Here is a link to Canada’s Prime Minister who can (sometimes) put 2 and 2 together.

    If only we can get Mr. Harper to update our archaic animal cruelty laws which are a complete disgrace in this country. We sign petition after petition, year after year, and nothing ever changes. That won’t stop us from continuing with the fight. If any Itchmo readers out there would like to add their voice please follow this link to one of many current petitions.

  19. The Lioness says:

    Way to say a whole lot of nothing, moron. *eye roll*

    ~The Lioness

  20. BeckyH says:

    Here’s a website that I have been watching lately. It’s about Animals & politcs.

  21. MizHizzyFitz says:

    I watched this guy debating the other night. He gives the word “arrogance” new meaning. It was clear to me that he held most (if not all) of his fellow contenders in varying degrees of contempt. It was also very clear that they did not like him.

    It came as no surprise to me that he made a joke of the serious issue of pet overpopulation. What did surprise me was that he would even lower himself to respond to the question.

    If this would-be King can’t relate to other humans how on earth could he relate to animals? In my opinion, Romney has the potential to make George Bush look like a pussycat.

  22. Bridgett says:


  23. shibadiva says:

    Hey, Mitt! “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Some guy named Gandhi said that. You can look him up on Google.

    FiverCat: It’s Laureen that talked Steve into cat fostering, but he must have a soft spot somewhere…Mark Holland is pushing his bill C-373 again now that the Camrose, Alberta case is hot news; good luck this time!

  24. mittens says:

    in all honesty the over population of pets in a post 9/11 country at war or even before is not part of the job description of president of the united states. i want to know how he’s going to keep ME safe from a terrorist attack and how he’s going to get the economy back on track and get the government to start solving problems instead of flouncing around hating each other, voting themselves pay raises and getting nothing accomplished while men and women who serve in the military are in harms way. that said his answer was smug ,unfunny, and arrogant. anyone with some tact and class who knew the question was largely irrelevant to presidential politics would still have given a respectful answer about how pet over population was the province of the states but that there’s no reason the federal government couldn’t work more stringently on those animal issues they do have control over like the fda vis a vis pet food and poisoned china imports of all sorts. turning it into a ‘ joke’ to show the asker his question struck you as stupid and irrelevant is unbecoming. the man strapped a dog to the roof of his car- let’s face it- animals do not mean all that much to him. those of us in mass. also think we didnt mean all that much to him after he abandoned the state to get himself elected president.

    at least bush treats his pets right. who cares if the guy’s a morman and a white worm brought golden tablets to the founder of his religion- the guy’s a slick piece of corporate work who just looks like a president.

  25. Dianne says:

    He doesn’t need a committee. The overpopulation of pets is a myth. Check out Nathan Winograd’s “Redemption.” He talks about how to move animal “sheltering” into the 21st century, and the answer is a fundamental change in philosophy.

  26. Lynne says:

    “Strap this fool to the roof of a van and get him outta town.”

    ROFL. I totally agree.

  27. Poodlluver says:

    I hadnt thought of that but your right.
    It DOES sound more like something from a sitcom!!!

    Tanya is right this guy SHOULD have just admitted, by saying something like..

    “i’m not well versed in this area….”
    Instead of making an ‘ars’ out of himself. lol

  28. Merlin Marshall says:

    Just further confirmation this guy is a complete jerk and doesn’t give a damn about animals. Yea, make him president and let him take care of the poison pet food problem.

  29. petrescue says:

    Thank heaven I never intended to vote for this a__hole..

    Put him in a dog crate, lock the crate and then tie that crate onto the top of his campaign bus !!!!

    After having read the original story of how he put his dog in a crate and then tied that crate on the top of his car and drove away on vacation with his young children in the car I decided to email Mr. Romney and ask him “which one of life’s lesson’s was he trying to teach his young children when he committed that act of animal cruelty ?” Mr. Romney’s staff replied with a “no comment”…

    It would also appear that Mr Huckabee has some animal skeleton’s in his closet too.. His son hung a dog at boy scout camp and Mr Huckabee tried to get the sheriff’s office to overlook the incident..

    And these two want to be the President of what country ????

    Not on my watch..

  30. straybaby says:

    and we mustn’t forget, we have Rudy and the Ferret Rant!!

    not a pet friendly guy. was not good for the shelters here in nyc, to say the least.

  31. Klondike says:

    Rudy puts Romney to shame in the pet-lover mockery arena.

  32. Jeanie says:

    Another reason not to like Mitt Romney. Gerbils and guinea pigs? Yeah, those are the animals we are all concerned about.

  33. kb says:

    I think the Humane Society director’s remark about giving a cat or dog to deported illegal aliens was pretty flippant and inappropriate.

  34. jabes says:

    When I was young in California, I always heard that gerbils were illegal because if they escaped, they’d eat all the crops and destroy the economy.

    Maybe that’s what he was thinking of? *sarcasm*

  35. Belgian_owner says:

    ANY politician asked something completely off their speech note cards like that is going to give the same waffley catch-phrase laden answer.

  36. JJ says:

    3 strikes and yer out! Romney, Huckabee and Goglianee - As petrescue said - And they want to be president of what country? Not on any pet lovers watch they sure will not be. Watch how a person treats and feels about animals and children will give you a better view of their ‘true’ inner self.

  37. Gindy says:

    As some one who has followed the under belly of politics for a long time, the gerbil thing was a swipe at gays. You know the old gerbil in the tube inserted into the etc. Pretty graphic stuff, but Romney is saying something to his base. He makes a sly, inside joke about gays here. As for pets, he could care less about them, which he has proven more than once.
    jabes, gerbils are not illegal in Cali, ferrets are, which I am sure Ghouliani just loves.

  38. judi says:

    If you were to ask Mitt what he thinks of the light bulb, he would go into a 30 minute speech about being an ancestor of Ben Franklin and how he reduced taxes so that bulb your burning could be affordable. However, he will never answer the original question about what he really thinks of that little bulb.

    It makes me cringe to think what his solution would be about the overpopulation of pets. After all he simply straps his on the top of his car.

  39. shibadiva says:

    kb, but she is not running for president…

  40. Don Earl says:

    RE: “How can he possibly run this country without having an in-depth understanding the animal overpopulation problem!”

    Considering the average pet owner is unaware there is a pet population problem, I wouldn’t find it surprising a politicial would suffer from a similar level of ignorance.

    On the other hand, considering the uproar over the pet food recall in the not so distant past, it is hard to imagine a politician being unaware that something on the order of 60% of the US population are pet owners. While the pet over population problem may not be a hot button issue, the recall certainly was. His answer indicates he didn’t care about an issue that affected a majority of the population by nearly a 2 to 1 margin enough to even look into the problem.

    Personally, I’d like to see Ron Paul team up with Dennis Kucinich on an independent ticket and kick the Ds and Rs to the curb.

  41. Bonnie McDermott says:

    Romney doesn’t get it. I wish all the candidates were asked this question. Of course, we have Hillary that was going to sent Socks to a shelter when their reign in the White House ended. Thankfully, one of the White House staff took Socks home. How can someone have a cat for 12 years and when the news cameras are no longer rolling, the cat becomes disposable. Most politicians are worse than bathroom scum.

  42. Kevin says:


    It just goes to show you that Hillary is nothing but image. Can you imagine the behind-the-scenes crap we will never hear about if she gets in to office?

    The woman should be put down like a diseased animal.

  43. judi says:

    April 2, 2007 — Judith Giuliani once demonstrated surgical products for a controversial medical-supply company that used dogs - which were later killed - in operations whose only purpose was to sell equipment to doctors, The Post has learned.

    “It was a horribly cruel, outrageous program,” Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said about the demonstrations of medical staplers on dogs conducted by U.S. Surgical Corp. employees during Giuliani’s tenure there in the late 1970s.

    Feral said U.S. Surgical’s demonstrations on hundreds of dogs each year through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were done to boost sales, not for medical re search or testing.

    The dogs were “either put to death following the sales demonstrations because they can’t re cover from them, or they die during them,” Feral said.

  44. catmom5 says:

    A Paul/Kucinich ticket would be so good for this country . . . and send a huge message to the “politics/business as usual crowd”. Frankly, I don’t see a lot of difference in the front runners, but don’t have much hope. Big money talks and they have the BIG MONEY!

  45. petrescue says:

    To Dianne :: I cannot believe that you feel that there is no pet overpopulation problem in this country.. Please feel free to visit the state of Florida anytime and bring your anti shock pill’s with you..

    Additionally, to see how the Clinton’s felt about their White House pet Buddy visit ::

    the Clinton’s wrote nothing about this precious dog that lived with them..

  46. Maida Genser says:

    In case Mitt Romney is following the comments about this article, here is what he should know. Huge numbers of homeless animals, mainly cats and dogs, are needlessly put to death each year and, at least in south Florida, the numbers continue to rise.

    One of the answers to pet overpoplulation is low-cost spay/neuter programs. Another is to open up condos and other types of association-run housing to allow responsible pet owners/guardians to have animal companions.

    So far California is the only state to have positive legislation that says people who live in association-run housing may have at least one companion animal.

    Citizens FOR Pets in Condos is a 501-c3 tax exempt private operating foundation dedicated to increasing acceptance of companion animals in condos and other types of association-run housing. We educate the public about the health benefits of having animal companions and advocate for responsible pet ownership/guardianship. Our motto: “creating a win-win situation for both animals & people.”

    Please visit and sign our petition to allow pets. Just follow the link in the upper left.

  47. Bane says:

    Maida Genser. I support Pets in Condos’ mission one hundred percent. It is unbelievable that in a supposedly free country, people are often prohibited from having a pet in their own home! There is an abundance of evidence that pets are vital for the health and mental well being of people, especially elderly people. and yet condos are continuously harrassing people over their pets. It is a direct violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of “the right to the pursuit of happiness”. It would certainly help make a dent in the pet overpopulation problem as well…good for people, good for pets…I hope you are successful in getting that Florida Pets in Condos Bill passed.

  48. Kevin says:


    I don’t think Mitt the idiot reads these posts. I don’t think he even reads a newspaper. If he had half a brain, he would already realize that the study has been done and the data is available.

    This FOOL wants to spend more of the taxpayer’s money for something that has already been produced.

    I wonder if he knows the Cold War is over or is he going to need a committee to tell him that also.

  49. straybaby says:

    Bonnie McDermott says:
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    regarding Hillary, got a link that backs up the fact she was sending socks to a shelter?! seems to me she’s a bit too smart (and perhaps caring, OMG!) to send a high profile cat to a shelter. a trusted staff member took socks in because buddy and socks never got along and and socks is still living happily with the woman afaik. the clintons currently have 2 labs. she cared enough for socks to keep the kitty safe from not only buddy, but also while romping outdoors. she felt roaming free on the WH grounds wouldn’t be safe for socks or the wildlife and kept him on a long line while outside. (it can be seen in photos and socks is also leashed in many of the outdoor pics with them) she didn’t have socks for the camera’s, she had socks because of her daughter, who wanted the kitten (found?) when she was younger. she couldn’t take socks to college when they left the WH, which was part of the the staffer taking socks along with the buddy issue.

    kevin, i sure hope you learn to get the facts before condemning people to death like a diseased animal.

  50. KAEfamily says:

    His answer was an insult to the questioner’s intelligence!

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