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Was Willard a bully, or just a prankster?

11 May

Willard Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican Tea Party (GOTP) candidate for president said in a radio interview with crack journalist and Fox and Friends personality Brian Kilmeade “Back in high school, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that,” referring to the alleged assault against fellow student John Lauber, where Romney cut off the Lauber’s hair while his friends held him down.

“I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize. I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing. “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.”

But wait, committing assault and battery weren’t the only allegations recently leveled against the conservative candidate, Kilmeade asked Willard specifically about having interrupted a closeted gay student in English class, Gary Hummel, by shouting, “Atta girl!”

Romney responded, “I really can’t remember that. As this person indicated, he was closeted,” Willard said. “I had no idea that he was gay and can’t speak to that even today. But as to the teasing or the taunts that go on in high school, that’s a long time ago. For me, that’s about 48 years ago. Again, if there’s anything I said that is offensive to someone, I certainly am sorry for that, very deeply sorry for that.”

What makes this potentially a lot worse for Romney is rather than confront the allegations head on and say he was wrong, he joked about it, he tried to brush it aside, “I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far …”, Romney said.

I’m sorry, but holding people down and cutting off their hair is not hijinks, it’s bullying plain and simple; it’s assault and battery, and it’s wrong.

Why can’t Willard remember these things? If they’re isolated cases in his youth then he’d remember them, or are they snapshots in a collage of everyday incidents for Mitt?

“‘I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize. I don’t remember that incident,’ Romney said, laughing.

Romney said laughing”, that’s the crux of this “incident”; “Romney said laughing” because this was just boys being boys? This is the point that’s troubling to me, that he laughed about it. That he laughed about someone being assaulted.

These weren’t hijinks, not under any definition I’d use: Webster calls hijinks, “boisterous or rambunctious carryings-on: carefree antics or horseplay”.

So, for the rich and wealthy set at Cranbrook Schools back in the 60s assaulting fellow students, holding them down and cutting off their hair while they’re screaming for help is just “carefree antics or horseplay”?

There’s the ongoing disconnect and the small sliver of insight into the mind of someone who would be president; that combined with laughing about it troubles me.

Mitt wants to prove he’s not the same man he was all those years ago, stand up and apologize without the dismissive laughing, without the “if I offended someone” political tag line attached. Stand up and tell that man’s family he’s sorry for what occurred and move on.

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1 Comment

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in 2012 Election

 

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