Mitt Romney's accused of bullying a classmate because he had gay tendencies back in 1965. The Washington Post ran the story about Romney as a senior in high school allegedly tackling a new student who was a junior because he didn't like his bleached blonde hair. The story describes in detail Romney "tackling and pinning him to the ground" and hacking off his hair with scissors as the boy cried and screamed for help.
Out of five witnesses that collaborated the story, one was Romney's childhood friend, Phillip Maxwell who called the incident "bullying supreme" and "assault and battery." The boy was a soft-spoken new student whose bleached-blonde hair swooped down and draped over one eye. While it caused a stir among classmates, Romney allegedly took it into his own hands after expressing to his friends that "He can't look like that" and "That's wrong. Just look at him," according to the LA Times.
Romney didn't discuss the claims made against him about bullying with the Washington Post, he opted to go on Fox News and address this. While he admits as a kid some of his pranks might have gone too far at times. He reports he didn't do any of the pranks to intentionally hurt anyone and Romney apologizes if he did hurt anyone with his pranks.
Fox New's Radio's Brian Kilmeade was the person Romney chose to discuss this with. Romney chuckled while explaining that back in those days the furthest thing from his mind was that a classmate was a homosexual. He went on saying, "I'll tell you," Romney continued, "the thought that fellow was homosexual was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case. But as to pranks that were played back then, I don't remember them all, but again, high school days, I did stupid things. ... And if anyone was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that."
The boy who was allegedly bullied by Romney is John Lauber, who classmates describes as a new student who kept pretty much to himself. While these accusations surface today, Lauber can't speak to these claims as he died in 2004. As you would expect others involved in gay rights have commented. Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard whose murder in 1998 became a symbol of anti-gay violence, released a statement.
"While this may seem like an innocent prank to some," Shepard said, "it was an act of torment against a child for being different. We expect the people we elect to be leaders in the charge against bullying so that all students are afforded the right to learn and grow in an environment free of fear. This incident calls into question whether Mitt Romney can be an advocate for the nation's most vulnerable children."
The sister of the late John Lauber, Betsy Lauber, released a statement saying the family's outraged that their brother's name would be used like this, according to Fox News Friday morning. Fox has also found out that the man who's quoted in the story saying he was always bothered by the Lauber incident wasn't even there and didn't hear about it until the Post contacted him for an interview.
This alleged incident took place over four decades ago and is a news story today for nothing more than attempting to discredit Romney going into the election. Coming up with this story, whether it is true or fabricated, seems to show the willingness to dig deep when it comes to tactics to win this Presidential race.
Now that this report has stirred the pot, the inconsistencies start surfacing. The man who just found out about the incident yet goes on record saying the incident bothered him for a long time, is most likely just one of the first uncovered to discredit the story. Hold on to your seats, the election is going to provide one bumpy ride, with this new report probably just a small pothole in the road of things to come!