It never fails that during a presidential primary campaign season, someone is going to make a claim or start a rumor about a GOP candidate that will follow them for the rest of the campaign and probably their lives no matter how spurious, context-free, or irrelevant the claim actually is to modern times.
We’ve seen this repeatedly in recent presidential election cycles, with the one that comes to mind – as it relates to the story I’m about to write – the one regarding 2008 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the infamous 1983 dog incident, written about by the Boston Globe in 2007, that he has never quite lived down.
Romney never denied nor apologized for having had his then-dog Seamus in an “air-tight kennel” strapped to the top of his car, complete with alleged windshield, for a family trip to Canada, but the story was used by the press in 2008 and in 2012 when he was the nominee to repeatedly bash him as unfit for office because he pulled a Clark Griswold-like maneuver with the family dog.
Not surprisingly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now also on the receiving end of the Mitt Romney treatment courtesy of a controversial anti-Trump book author who in an upcoming book about Fox News claimed that during a dinner with Tucker Carlson and Carlson’s wife, Susie, DeSantis kicked one of their dogs under a table:
In his upcoming book on the Fox News universe, Michael Wolff details a bizarre incident that allegedly occurred when Tucker Carlson shared a meal with Ron DeSantis. He may have used physical force against one of the Carlson family’s beloved spaniel pups. https://t.co/V7SFbE7Ign
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 20, 2023
From the “report“:
The DeSantis couple allegedly failed “to read the room,” especially with Carlson’s wife, “a genteel, stay-at-home woman, here in her own house,” Wolff notes. “For two hours Ron DeSantis sat at her table talking in an outdoor voice indoors, failing to observe any basics of conversation ritual or propriety, reeling off an unselfconscious list of his programs and initiatives and political accomplishments.”
Making matters worse, Wolff claims, an “impersonal” DeSantis seemed dismissive and may have used physical force against one of the Carlson family’s four beloved spaniel pups.
During the dinner, Wolff writes, “DeSantis pushed the dog under the table. Had he kicked the dog? Susie Carlson’s judgment was clear: she did not ever want to be anywhere near anybody like that ever again. Her husband agreed. DeSantis, in Carlson’s view, was a ‘fascist.’ The pot calling the kettle even blacker. Forget Ron DeSantis.”
Carlson himself was asked about the alleged incident and called the claim “absurd,” according to Business Insider:
“This is absurd,” the former Fox News host wrote in a text to Insider. “He never touched my dog, obviously.”
The DeSantis campaign also responded accordingly to the story, pointing to it being just one more example of how desperate DeSantis’ critics in the media and politics are to have him gone:
“The totality of that story is absurd and false,” [spokesman Andrew] Romeo said in a statement to Insider. “Some will say or write anything to attack Ron DeSantis because they know he presents a threat to their worldview.”
“But rest assured that as president the one thing he will squarely kick is the DC elitists in both parties either under or over the table, and that’s why they are so desperately fighting back,” he added.
While the Insider story pointed to the numerous credibility issues Wolff has, it should also be noted that even CNN’s Oliver Darcy said people should proceed with caution when reading the book because “Wolff may not be the most reliable narrator.”
When you’re an anti-Trump/anti-DeSantis guy and you’ve lost the trust of one of the MSM’s most notoriously anti-Trump/DeSantis/GOP media reporters, that pretty much says it all, in my opinion.