BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) – Mitt Romney responding is responding to a Washington Post article suggesting he was a bully while in high school in Michigan.
The GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is apologizing for the an incident that he reportedly helped orchestrate while he attended Cranbrook High School in Bloomfield Hills back in 1965.
According to the Post, a young Romney and his friends ambushed a classmate, who some students suspected was gay. Witnesses interviewed for the article said the boy cried and screamed for help as Romney cut his long bleached-blonde hair while other students held him down.
The Post reports the incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another.
Although Romney is not exactly denying that it happened, he said sexual orientation had nothing to do with it.
“I certainly don’t believe that I — I can’t speak for other people, of course — thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s,” Romney said.
“But, as to pranks that were played back then, I don’t remember them all. But, again, you know … the high school days that I did stupid things … I’m afraid that I gotta say sorry for it,” he said.
Sidney Barthwell, now a magistrate at 36th District Court in Detroit, was in Romney’s graduating class at Cranbrook.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950, Barthwell said he remembers Romney as a good guy and he was shocked to hear about the incident described in the Post.
Barthwell did, however, say calling it a “prank” is a bit of a stretch.
“When I think of a prank, you know, nobody gets hurt, right? You know, either psychologically or physically,” Barthwell said. “Evidently this incident, you know, impacted this man’s life … virtually for the rest of his life.”
Barthwell, who was the only African American student in the class of 1965, said he was never bullied and that such incidents were unusual at Cranbrook.
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