Romney apologizes for being a teenager in the 1960’s. He said that he wished that he had all the metrosexual styles, leftist indoctrination and GLBT sensitivity training available to high school kids today…no actually, he didn’t.
He apologized for pulling stupid pranks when he was a kid with a kid’s level of mental sensibilities and social awareness.
Mitt Romney apologized on Thursday morning for pranks he helped orchestrate in high school that he said “might have gone too far,” including an incident in which he pinned down a fellow student and cut his hair.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was responding to an article published a few hours earlier by The Washington Post documenting the episode with first-hand accounts from Romney’s classmates.
“Back in high school, I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that,” Romney said in a live radio interview with Fox News Channel personality Brian Kilmeade. Romney added: “I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school and some might have gone too far and for that, I apologize.”
Romney’s campaign hastily scheduled the radio interview for the candidate to call in from Omaha, where he is holding a campaign event later Wednesday, to respond to The Post’s report.
“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney told Kilmeade, chuckling. “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.”
Wow, if I was a suspicious man, I would suspect that this Washington Post article (via Drudge) about Romney viciously cutting a gay boy’s hair was timed to coincide with Obama’s flip flop on gay marriage of yesterday…but I’m sure that a reputable paper like the Post wouldn’t coordinate with a campaign to publish a 47 year old story, complete with direct quotes and from people with absolutely no bias – they even said that they weren’t motivated by politics. I’m not that cynical…or am I?
Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.
“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.
A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.
“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”
Maybe Mitt did it, maybe not – he says that he doesn’t recall the issue:
Romney is now the presumed Republican presidential nominee. His campaign spokeswoman said the former Massachusetts governor has no recollection of the incident.
“Anyone who knows Mitt Romney knows that he doesn’t have a mean-spirited bone in his body,” Andrea Saul said in a statement. “The stories of fifty years ago seem exaggerated and off base and Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents.”
And if it happened, there is nothing in the story to indicate that Romney knew the kid was gay or an animus against homosexuals, the Post said that he “came out” to his family but they neglect to say when…apparently when he was in school with Mitt, the kid was just a weirdo:
The boy few at Cranbrook knew or remember was born in Chicago, grew up in South Bend, Ind., and had a hard time fitting in. He liked to wander and “had a glorious sense of the absurd,” according to his sister Betsy. When the chance to get out of Indiana presented itself, he jumped at it, and enrolled at Cranbrook. He never uttered a word about Mitt Romney or the haircut incident to his sisters. After Cranbrook asked him to leave, he finished high school, attended the University of the Seven Seas for two semesters, then graduated in 1970 from Vanderbilt, where he majored in English.
He came out as gay to his family and close friends and led a vagabond life, taking dressage lessons in England and touring with the Royal Lipizzaner Stallion riders. After an extreme fit of temper in front of his mother and sister at home in South Bend, he checked into the Menninger Clinic psychiatric hospital in Topeka, Kan. Later he received his embalmer’s license, worked as a chef aboard big freighters and fishing trawlers, and cooked for civilian contractors during the war in Bosnia and then, a decade later, in Iraq. His hair thinned as he aged, and in the winter of 2004 he returned to Seattle, the closest thing he had to a base.
Since Lauber is dead, we can’t ask him.
Washington Post’s take: Romney is rich, white, belongs to a cult, wears funny underwear, went to an exclusive school and rumor had it that he once cut a gay kids hair. It’s not like he sat in Jerimiah Wright’s church for 20 years or associated with known terrorists.
The campaign is in full swing now…