Politics

High School Classmates Claim Mitt Romney was a Bully

| by Michael Allen

High school classmates of Mitt Romney recently claimed that the GOP presidential candidate engaged in bullying behavior during his days at Cranbrook School in Bloomfield, Michigan.

The Washington Post reports:

John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

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A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named.

Romney was asked about the story during a live radio broadcast, with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, and said: “Back in high school, I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that…I don’t remember that incident.”

“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.”