Bully, homophobic or teen prankster? Romney accused of terrorizing classmate at prep school
Serious issues of the day have been reduced to what's "trending," and gay rights are the hot topic making the rounds on airwaves, television, the printed press and Internet. President Obama made an historic announcement on Wednesday, telling ABC's Robin Roberts that he supports same-sex marriage. This public stance came on the heels of North Carolina's Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
So in keeping with this theme, some unfavorable things have surfaced about Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
No, not the dogs on the roof of his car again; that is no longer "trending." It's now Mitt as a bully. I know it is hard to envision the stiffest, blandest, most awkward super-rich politician around as a bully, but his old prep school classmates swear he was when he was in his spring years.
They say while attending the all boys, private, prestigious prep school called Cranbrook when his father was governor of Michigan, he bullied a gay classmate mercilessly. These classmates told the Washington Post that the bullying got so bad that in 1965, Romney had his friends held down the victim John Lauber, while he chopped off the boys long bleach-blonde hair.
They said Romney was always a prankster but that incident stuck with them all these years for it went beyond a prank. Lauber is now deceased so he cannot give us his account of the story and Romney has since said he doesn't remember the incident but that he is sorry.
Just an aside, school bullies seldom remember the torture they put their victims through, while the ones picked on sometimes take a lifetime to forget.
According to the report in the Washington Post, Romney was incensed about the younger Lauder's look, saying, "He can't look like that--it's wrong. Just look at him!" He was reportedly referring to the long hair.
His then friend, Mathew Friedemann, told the paper that the young Romney kept harping on the hair and wouldn't let it go, until it culminated in the alleged hair-shaving incident.
Friedemann wasn't the only classmate to recount the story. Four others have told the same tale. Friedmann is now a dentist and the other four: David Seed, a retired Principal; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor and Phillip Maxwell now a lawyer. A fifth alum reportedly also corroborated the incident but wishes to remain anonymous.
Buford reportedly said the incident troubles him to this day, 47 years later.
Romney has apologized and his supporters say this story is a hack job by Democrats and lacks relevance. They say the presidential candidate was a teen at the time and the young tend to do stupid things.
Critics say it is relevant for it shows Mitt has a pattern of "bullying" the underdog just as his proposed policies will continue to look out for the those who have plenty while stripping programs that help the poor.
What do you say: Romney's teen years and what he did, irrelevant to the here and now or relevant?
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