NBC Touted Romney's Dog on a Car Roof Story, But Only ABC Notes: Obama 'Tried Dog' as a Kid

Of the three major networks, only ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday covered the "dog wars" counterattack by Mitt Romney's operatives. Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos highlighted that the campaign is "tweeting around a picture of the President and trying to focus on a revelation he made in his memoir, that he actually tried dog when he was a young boy in Indonesia." 

CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both skipped the story. The Romney team used the dog-eating revelation from Obama's book to hit back on Democratic complaints that the Republican once put his dog on the car roof during a vacation. On January 31, 2012, Today made sure to bring up that liberal talking point.

Reporter Peter Alexander explained, "...David Axelrod, the president's senior campaign strategist, tweeted this photo of the president with his dog Bo inside the car. Axelrod's caption, 'How loving owners transport their dogs.'"

Yet, so far, Today has avoided this latest revelation in what Stephanopoulos called "the dog wars."

GMA covered the story, though correspondent Jon Karl didn't seem too happy about it. He pointed out that the dog eating occurred when the President "was only a kid" in Indonesia." He added glumly, "But I think the dog wars, George, unfortunately are here."

Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative turned journalist, hopefully concluded, "Yeah, maybe they'll cycle through quickly."

On Tuesday, GMA played clips of World News anchor Diane Sawyer grilling Romney about his late dog Seamus.

A transcript of the April 18 GMA segment can be found below:


7:01

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Also, boy, on the presidential campaign. Last week, we had the mommy wars. This week, it's the dog wars. You've seen the Obama campaign trying to make hay out of Seamus, the Romney family dog who spent some time on the roof of the car in a trip. Well, now, the Romney campaign is fighting back. They're tweeting around a picture of the President and trying to focus on a revelation he made in his memoir, that he actually tried dog when he was a young boy in Indonesia.

ROBIN ROBERTS: I'm sorry?

STEPHANOPOULOS: The President tasted dog when he was a young boy.

ROBERTS: Oh, we've gone there.
                           
STEPHANOPOULOS:  We're going there. We're also going to have the latest on the vice presidential search this morning.

...

7:13

STEPHANOPOULOS: Politics now. Your voice, your vote and the race for the White House really heating up. We're going to get to the dog wars that broke out overnight. But, first, Mitt Romney is shifting his search for a running mate into high gear. ABC's Jon Karl is all over that for us. And you have the first inklings of who may be on the short list.

JON KARL: That's right. Let's start with the top tier, the most serious candidates. At the top of that list, Senator Rob Portman, from the critical state of Ohio. He's twice been a cabinet official. He's also been in the House and the Senate, arguably the most qualified person on the list. Next to him, you see Marco Rubio, rock star for Tea Partiers and conservatives at at a time when Republicans are seeing support among Hispanics crater. He could actually deliver his acceptance speech in Spanish. And, George, the surprise on my list, top tier, Jeb Bush, the former but still popular governor from Florida. He is somebody who Romney likes so much, that he said if Jeb run for president, that Romney himself might not have run. And then quickly, the second tier includes a lot of governors, including Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Bob McDonnell of Virginia and then, as you see there, Congressman Paul Ryan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Boy, that really would be something if he could convince Jeb Bush to run with him. We'll be watching that closely. But there's been a lot of talk about the possibility that Mitt Romney would pick a woman to help close that huge gender gap he has with President Obama.

KARL: Yeah. The problem for Republicans is there just aren't a lot of high-profile women in public office right now. But two that can get looked at. One, Kelly Ayotte. She is a senator from New Hampshire, the former attorney general of New Hampshire. Very close to Romney. And a much more of a long shot but somebody who I think will get consideration, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma. George, she right now is one of the most popular governors in the country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Boy, that's a new one. Let's get to these dog wars that broke out overnight. There was a report in a paper that- going back to President Obama's revelation that he had tried dog when he was a young boy in Indonesia. And the Romney campaign really pounced on that.

KARL: Uh, yeah. No doubt. This became sort of a Twitter war. The first move came from Eric Fehrnstrom, one of Romney's top advisers. He retweeted something that had been sent out earlier by the - by David Axelrod, a photograph with Bo, you see it with the President, saying "in hindsight, a chilling photo." That prompted a response from Chicago, from the election headquarters of President Obama. His spokesman for his reelection campaign, Ben LaBolt saying, "What next? @EricFerhn and the RNC will surface? What will they attack on a six to ten year old?" Of course, you know, he was only a kid when he was in Indonesia and this happened. But I think the dog wars, George, unfortunately are here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, maybe they'll cycle through quickly.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org