Romney’s ‘Google Problem’

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images/AFP)
Have you ever been the victim of a back-door romp run awry? Next time you spew Santorum after an anal sex attempt gone askew, don’t be too scared. That’s just a natural occurrence called “Romney.”

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP contender for the Republican Party nomination for president, has a problem. If slipping in the polls behind Rick Santorum last week in three states wasn’t enough humiliation for the former frontrunner, there’s a new slang phrase that’s all the rage and sure to be a thorn in the backside of the candidate.

Well, it’s something in the backside alright.

A campaign along the lines of the Google mess that made the phrase “Santorum” synonymous with a not so appealing concoction of feces and lubricant has targeted Romney this time around. In recent days, a Google search query for the name “Romney” returns some revealing results. On the first page of the links, you’ll find that the third page listed is a dictionary-like entry for an expression you might not have been familiar with. Behind the top-two results (which are the official website for the candidate and his Wikipedia entry, accordingly), the third entry returned directs to SpreadingRomney.com, a site which explains that the word “Romney” isn’t just the last name of the private-sector scamp that’s among the GOP top tier.

According to the site, “Romney” is also a verb that means “to defecate in terror.”

In the brief time since the website was discovered by Google’s search mechanism and reported by outlets, it has only increased in popularity. If it is discovered by more curious voters considering the GOP candidates, it could soon be the top result. After all, SpreadingSantorum.com is the first hit you’ll find if you search Google for the former Pennsylvania Senator’s last name.

Following a 2003 comment made by Santorum that equated homosexuality to bestiality and child abuse, a campaign launched by openly-gay sex columnist Dan Savage helped make SpreadingSantorum the top result for the then-senator. Years down the road, Santorum has become a household figure, populating television screens and newspaper front-pages on the regular with his routine sweater-vest-clad photo-ops. The alternative definition proposed by Savage, however, isn’t so family-friendly. If you go by the SpreadingSantorum.com definition, that candidate is synonymous with “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Santorum has attempted to take down the site to no avail. Now it is Romney who is stuck working with a Google problem of his own.

"I just wanted to see what would come of it," explains Jack Shepler, the mastermind behind the new Romney website. "Pretty much all of the Republican candidates are a joke, and the only one who isn't is Ron Paul," Shepler says to BuzzFeed, "but I'm probably going to vote for Obama."

While the Santorum problem stems from an off-color remark on homosexuality, the motivation for SpreadingRomney is a bit more innocent. For humans, at least. Romney has in recent weeks been the target of criticism over an incident in which the candidate strapped his dog to the roof of the car during a family road trip. As the story goes, the Romney clan only became aware of the pup’s whereabouts after their Irish Setter, Seamus, defecated atop the vehicle. The result, not that unlike Santorum, then spread over the auto’s windows. According to the incident as reported by the Boston Globe in 2007, Romney’s oldest son Tagg exclaimed “Gross,” and then the dad pulled over and hosed down the mutt.

In recent weeks, the incident has come back to haunt the candidate and has sparked the start of a “Dogs Against Romney” campaign. On top of that, now Romney is left fighting his own Google problem.

To put it mildly, it’s turning into a messy (and ruff) campaign for everyone.