Mitt Romney has apologized for incidents described in a Washington Post story about his prep school years in Michigan. Some of the events include forcibly cutting a boys' hair and hassling a closeted gay student in English class."Back in high school, I did some dumb things," Romney said in an interview on the "Kilmeade and Friends" talk show on Fox News radio Thursday. "And if anybody was hurt by that or offended by that, I apologize.
" He added: "There is no question I became a very different person since then." Romney emphasized that he had no idea the boy was gay. "I certainly don't believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual," said Romney in the radio interview. "That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s." According to the Washington Post, which conducted interviews with the presidential candidate's former classmates at the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.,
Romney forcibly cut the "bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye" of a "soft-spoken" new kid because he felt the boy didn't belong. The story is a 5,400-word profile of Romney's formative years; the incident occurred in 1965. "He can't look like that," an "incensed" Romney told one of his friends upon seeing John Lauber's hair, according to the friend's account. "That's wrong. Just look at him!"
A few days later in a dorm room, several other students pinned down Lauber—who was "perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality"—while the presumptive Republican nominee "clipped his hair with a pair of scissors." A "terrified" Lauber was crying and screaming, according to the paper. "It was a hack job," Phillip Maxwell, a student who witnessed the incident, told the Post. "It was vicious." Lauber died in 2004.Romney also chided another student presumed to be gay, according to the Post:-
In an English class, Gary Hummel, who was a closeted gay student at the
time, recalled that his efforts to speak out in class were punctuated
with Romney shouting, "Atta girl!" In the culture of that time and
place, that was not entirely out of the norm. Hummel recalled some
teachers using similar language.
According to his campaign, Romney doesn't recall the incidents. "Anyone who knows Mitt Romney
knows that he doesn't have a mean-spirited bone in his body," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement to the Post. "The stories of fifty years ago seem exaggerated and off base and Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents."
By Dylan Stableford of the Ticket.
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