Romney bullying allegations grow legs

The stories about Mitt Romney’s bullying behavior as a high school student, first reported in the Washington Post, do not appear to be going away.

Quite the contrary.

From ABC News:

“One former classmate and old friend of Romney’s – who refused to be identified by name – said there are “a lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook who have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as “evil” and “like Lord of the Flies.”

The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember it.

“It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?” the former classmate said.”

While saying that he does not remember specifics, Romney offered an apology of sorts in a radio interview with Fox News:

“I’m not going to be too concerned about their piece. They talk about the fact that I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that, well you just say to yourself, ‘back in high school, well, I did some dumb things’ and if anybody was hurt by that or offended obviously I apologize but overall high school years were a long time ago.”

Romney also says that at the time, he had no idea that the victims of his pranks may have been gay, since they didn’t come out of the closet until much later. That’s quite plausible. In one case in which Romney is described as leading an attack on a student, the victim’s alleged mistake was to have worn his hair too long.

The Romney campaign is reportedly reaching out to former classmates, asking them to come forward and vouch for the candidate’s behavior and character. It’ll be interesting to hear what they have to say. This story has a ways to play out yet.

Two closing points:

– It’s important to note that Romney was 18 at the time. None of us is the person that we were at 18. Norms of social behavior were also different back then.

– That said, the behaviors described are troubling. Having learned of the allegations, The Washington Post had an obligation to report them. If you read the entire , lengthy Post story, it does a good job of putting the allegations into context, including anecdotes that speak well of the future GOP nominee. Neither the story nor Romney should be judged based on incomplete information.

– Jay Bookman

620 comments Add your comment

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
4:36 pm

They BOTH suck

May 10th, 2012
4:36 pm

Jay

Do you think this is going to sway an election?

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
4:37 pm

Got home just in time! :grin:

[...] the contrary. “One former classmate and old friend of Romney’s – who refused to be … Read More… Posted in School [...]

ty webb

May 10th, 2012
4:41 pm

democrat blogger links to it earlier today in an unrelated blog topic, and then blogs again about the story “growing legs”…Jay’s doing his part.

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
4:41 pm

Romney looks more like a spoiled brat than a bully to me.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

May 10th, 2012
4:44 pm

Jay, you are much too easy….if these stories had surfaced about Obama, I doubt we would be hearing about the need for perspective that this was done at 18…… or in law school…

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
4:45 pm

Well,since I live in a glass house I won’t throw any stones.I was a bit of a prankster when I was young.

Peadawg

May 10th, 2012
4:45 pm

Anything to distract from real issues, eh Jay?

See y’all tomorrow.

Hillary 2012

ByteMe - Political thug

May 10th, 2012
4:45 pm

What strikes me most about this story is Romney’s intense equivocation. First he didn’t remember the incidents. Then he apologized to anyone who was offended but without saying he remembered anything specific. Then he said that he definitely didn’t know or think the kid they attacked was gay, even though he apparently didn’t remember the attack.

– Josh Marshall (TPM)

Peadawg

May 10th, 2012
4:45 pm

“I was a bit of a prankster when I was young.”

Yeah…the crap I did w/ eggs, smoke bombs, and paintball guns…I can’t say anything about Romney.

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
4:47 pm

Oh good gracious Keep,Obama is to much of a sissy for anyone to think he could be a bully!

ByteMe - Political thug

May 10th, 2012
4:47 pm

Anyone else doubt that most politicians looking to run for the highest office in the land aren’t somehow sociopaths in real life?

They BOTH suck

May 10th, 2012
4:47 pm

Some much for Bachmann and her dual citizenship

She renounced her Swiss citizenship today

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76175.html

I could careless either way, but I guess it quickly became a political albatross.

Jay

May 10th, 2012
4:49 pm

Both, I have no idea. It has a long way to play out yet.

I do think it would have made a difference if Romney had said yes, of course I remember it, it has bothered me ever since it happened, I would do anything to take it back and I think it’s important to understand just how destructive this kind of behavior can be for everyone involved.

Ty, would you prefer that such things not even be discussed?

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
4:50 pm

Yeah…the crap I did w/ eggs, smoke bombs, and paintball guns…I can’t say anything about Romney.

I hear Pea!I could add to that list but I won’t. :shock:

Peadawg

May 10th, 2012
4:50 pm

“She renounced her Swiss citizenship today” – That’s actually very sad that she was pressured into doing that. Damn, right-wingers are getting more and more crazy. Who cares if she has dual citizenship.

GW

May 10th, 2012
4:51 pm

Love it. Let’s see how long the legs last.

Steve

May 10th, 2012
4:53 pm

I’m not sure I’d want to be judged by anything I did at that age, but I certainly can judge him for strapping a dog in a crate to a roof of a car for hours on end, when he was a mature adult.

ty webb

May 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

“Ty, would you prefer that such things not even be discussed?”

yeah…same for the dog stories, smoking weed in college stories, how many cadillacs Ann Romney drives stories, Birth certificate stories…

Keep Up the Good Fight!

May 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

And here I thought a thug was worse that a bully but apparently thugs are just sissies…. all the twists and turns of the conned as they dive into the shallow end. That one did get an overall 6.5 from the judges.

They BOTH suck

May 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

Jay

Thanks for the reply. I could be 100% wrong, but I’m thinking this blows over in quick fashion, but smaller things have stumped other politicians.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

May 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

at 18 a lot of boys were drafted…..

Steve

May 10th, 2012
4:55 pm

Romney is going to receive a slow death from a thousand cuts this year.

Chuck

May 10th, 2012
4:55 pm

Is this where we have come to in the American election process, is it no wonder that we have not had a real good person run for president in decades, if this was about a Democrat, Rush, Brootz, Beck, and the rest of the conservative talking heads,would be talking about how important it is, but it is about a Republican, so the Presidents media troops ( and yes Jay this does include you) are coming out and keeping this nothing story a live. I would say lets get back to the real issues, but Obama or Romney have no leg to stand on, on the real issues so this is what we get.

skipper

May 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

Obama says Gay marriage is ok, Romney pulls college pranks…….each “side” will try to use ANY issue to attack the other candidate. Get ready folks: it on! The next thing you know, someone will make a disparaging remark about the Left-handed one-eyed Ethiopian co-pilots association, and and we will have ANOTHER issue!!!!!!!

skipper

May 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

p.s. thats “its on!” not “It on”! lol

JF McNamara

May 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

It was High school. I think he probably changed in the last 40 years, and it wasn’t a problem when he was Governor.

I always assumed he was a grade A a** hole. His specialty was leverage buyouts on Wall Street. I don’t know may nice guys that work on the Street…I’m more concerned by not knowing what he actually stands for.

Jefferson

May 10th, 2012
4:57 pm

Was he born in the US ? Anyone checking ?

Recon 0311 2533

May 10th, 2012
4:58 pm

Geez, this WaPo story will go about as far as maybe tomorrow. At least as far as the electorate is really concerned. Only goes to show that the MSM is getting into desperation mode. It’s the economy stupid.

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
4:59 pm

at 18 a lot of boys were drafted

Not me Granny! I avoided the draft,joined when I was 17. :smile:

They BOTH suck

May 10th, 2012
4:59 pm

ty @ 4:54

Guess we do agree on something

They BOTH suck

May 10th, 2012
5:00 pm

Recon

I think it is a lame story as well. However I also thought bither, Muslim, etc stories were pretty lame and stupid

Part of the “game” I guess, but it is a huge distraction to the candidates for sure

gotohealth

May 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

This is not a prank or bullying, it is criminal assault. If this happened today, sicko Mitt would have been arrested and his parents would have had to write a very big check to the kid assaulted.

Simple Truths

May 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

WaPo article = hit piece

getalife

May 10th, 2012
5:02 pm

Mary Elizabeth

May 10th, 2012
5:02 pm

“It’s important to note that Romney was 18 at the time. None of us is the person that we were at 18. Norms of social behavior were also different back then.”
———————————————————

None of us is the person we were at 18, or at 35 or at 55, but we all do have a core spirit, at any age, which we can either enhance or diminish. And, it is how we each, individually, react to the norms of social behavior, into which we are born, that is also telling of who we are – at the deepest levels.

Here was my take on the Romney adolescent incident, as I described to Paul earlier, today:

“I don’t see any evidence in Romney today of bullying and I do think that he is basically a nice man, with a commitment to his family. However, I do not think that he has the expansive vision of reality, and of others, that Obama has, and has had. That fact showed forth with how easily he could separate himself from others, even as a teen. ‘People just don’t act that way.’ And what way was that? It shows a limitation of how he envisioned reality and how he envisions humanity, i e., in separated parts. That is why he still puts his foot in his mouth when he teases about being unemployed also, among those who are truly hurting because of being unemployed – among other faux pas which he has said. They reflect his vision. His vision, in my opinion, is limited, and as a result, I think he would would keep our nation constrained into a smaller vision. That, then, would effect world affairs and it would effect how others throughout the world view America and Americans. It would even effect internal affairs because he would see people by their categories, or labels of division, more than by their common humanity. His vision of humanity, in other words, would effect the growing consciousness of how Americans view other Americans. Look at his statement relative to gay marriage as opposed to Obama’s statement.”

jm

May 10th, 2012
5:02 pm

Quick

May 10th, 2012
5:03 pm

Whatever. Have you never been a jerk to someone else, Jay? I have. Not proud of it. Legs. Pfft. This is why I hate politics. Same for birth certificates, etc.

TDone

May 10th, 2012
5:03 pm

I wonder if he ever:

Smoked cocaine?

Harbored marxist thoughts or idealogy?

Attended a racist church for 20 years?

Hung out with terroriists?

Was narcissistic?

Need I stop there…

jm

May 10th, 2012
5:03 pm

“Bullygate.” :)

Dogfood Affair :)

Chuck

May 10th, 2012
5:04 pm

This is what you get when you have two very average men, with NO leadership abilities running for the position of the most powerful man in the world. I guess it could be worse, it could be a choice between George W Bush or Jimmy Carter, then we would really be screwed.

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
5:04 pm

Bullygate.

ROFLMAO getalife!

ty webb

May 10th, 2012
5:06 pm

They both suck,
we probably agree on much more than you’re willing to admit.

Steve

May 10th, 2012
5:07 pm

Most Presidents are pretty much “average men.” We’ve had a few that have shone as brilliant leaders, but they are rare.

Real Scootter

May 10th, 2012
5:07 pm

Chuck

May 10th, 2012
5:04 pm

You left out McCain/Palin, how scary is that? Whew!

Jefferson

May 10th, 2012
5:07 pm

The current president has improved conditions since he became president.

TaxPayer

May 10th, 2012
5:08 pm

I suggest the Republicans send a posse out to Mitt’s old stomping grounds to check out these allegations of bullying. I’m thinking Orly and Scout should do.

Milo83

May 10th, 2012
5:09 pm

I see the AJC’s Nancy Grace is desperately treading water with this one.

St Simons - we're on Island time

May 10th, 2012
5:10 pm

t-t-thwack!! With the slightest effort, Obama the black Mammmba strikes

the colobus monkey. Wait’ll everybody finds out Mittens did his

mission fer jaysus in the South of Fray-ance!

They BOTH suck

May 10th, 2012
5:10 pm

TY

maybe, maybe not…..

As the issues arise and you see something I posted and you agree, let me know. I will do the same

Chuck

May 10th, 2012
5:10 pm

Real Scootter it has been decades since anyone worth voting for has run for the job, I blame mostly the media (Liberal and Conservative) because they run these kind of stupid stories and keep any serious people away from the job.

getalife

May 10th, 2012
5:12 pm

They will toss the kitchen sink with attacks on willard.

They will replay the gop attacks on willard.

I don’t think willard is ready for prime time politics.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 10th, 2012
5:12 pm

Peadawg — “Yeah…the crap I did w/ eggs, smoke bombs, and paintball guns…I can’t say anything about Romney.”

I did, too, but I’m not running for President. Neither are you.

GT

May 10th, 2012
5:14 pm

It takes me back to how hard Romney had it coming up. Not only was he a preppy but he was a ring leader of preppies and bullying his peer group. Reread his testimony of how hard it was coming up. You really think America needs another silver spooned elite that is disconnected from the reality of the average American. Wasn’t that Bush’s real problem as bodies floated in the streets of a major American city.

Paul

May 10th, 2012
5:15 pm

This morning I wondered if the Obama campaign or surrogates would try to exploit this for political gain.

I now have my answer.

“If you read the entire , lengthy Post story, it does a good job of putting the allegations into context, including anecdotes that speak well of the future GOP nominee. Neither the story nor Romney should be judged based on incomplete information.”

Ah, but that’s just it, isn’t it? Who else doing the commenting references that? Jay and…. none? ABC? CBS? NBC? Any?

Nope. Very few read the source material. They just respond to the dinging bell.

josef

May 10th, 2012
5:16 pm

Now, this one IS interesting. Our 40th high school reunion is this summer. A lot of us from the class of ‘72 are reminiscing about those years. For other reasons, I have been in touch with some of my junior high class. I’ve been intrigued by how they remember me. They bring up things that I had “forgotten” along the way and it has been something of a personal journey to put the me of here and now up against that image. I doubt I see myself now in any clearer a perspective than I do of myself back then.

josef

May 10th, 2012
5:17 pm

GT

Is there something wrong with being a preppie?

Joe Hussein Mama

May 10th, 2012
5:18 pm

TDone — “Attended a racist church for 20 years?”

When was it that the Mormons changed their tune on African-Americans? The 70s?

So yes, Mr. Romney apparently DID attend a racist church for 20-some years.

Chuck

May 10th, 2012
5:18 pm

I hear when President Obama was 5 years old, he called a neighbor child “a big stinking do-do head” and when Governor Romney was 7 years old he call his sister “a stupid face”. Hurry Jay you better get on this vastly important story. I would feel a little ashamed that I continued a pathetic story like this, on the off chance that it will help your guy.

barking frog

May 10th, 2012
5:19 pm

Has the press been unable
to locate the victim ?
Didn’t have any trouble
finding mitt’s ‘friends’.

Jay

May 10th, 2012
5:19 pm

Well, let’s play this out:

He was only 18. That does matter, I agree. But are we saying that 18-year-olds aren’t responsible for their actions? We sure toss a lot of 18-year-olds, and 16-year-olds, into prison for mistakes they make.

Again, I’m in no way arguing that this disqualifies Romney from the presidency or anything close. I’m just wondering how far folks are willing to go with this “he was only 18″ argument. You’re not a fully formed moral being at that point, but we sure do treat people that way.

getalife

May 10th, 2012
5:19 pm

I treated others as they treated me.

The Christian cons wanted to fight, we fought.

If they wanted to party, we partied.

In the end, we all got along and partied.

The GMC

May 10th, 2012
5:19 pm

Let whoever never did anything “dumb” at age 18 cast the first stone!
Maybe we should ask Jay if he was always innocent in High School.
Looks like he has cast the first stone.

Jay

May 10th, 2012
5:20 pm

Barking, the victim died in 2004.

ty webb

May 10th, 2012
5:20 pm

“This morning I wondered if the Obama campaign or surrogates would try to exploit this for political gain.”

of course they are…take a gander at brad woodhouse’s(DNC Communications) twitter feed…it contrasts perfectly with Obama coming out for state’s rights yesterday.

Paul

May 10th, 2012
5:21 pm

Jay’s 4:49

“I do think it would have made a difference if Romney had said yes, of course I remember it, it has bothered me ever since it happened, I would do anything to take it back and I think it’s important to understand just how destructive this kind of behavior can be for everyone involved.”

For all I hear about the vaunted Republican business sense, strategic foresight, sizing up a competitor, exploiting their market weakness to gain market share… all that stuff… sure seems to me this stellar businessman and his staff are fumbling one opportunity after another to do their turnaround thing.

Brosephus™

May 10th, 2012
5:21 pm

– It’s important to note that Romney was 18 at the time. None of us is the person that we were at 18. Norms of social behavior were also different back then.

18’s a lot closer for me than it is for some of y’all, so social behavior isn’t too much different than it was. Also, at 18, I was a militant mofo and too smart for my own good to boot!! :)

barking frog

May 10th, 2012
5:22 pm

Swiftboaters so far.

kayaker 71

May 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

So now we are to believe that for something that happened in 1975 to an immature teenager is going to have some kind of effect on whether or not Romney get elected. Ever done anything that you wish you could take back when that age? Man, I sure have. And the next thing you will say, “Yeah, but you’re not running for President”. Doesn’t matter. Think we can dredge up a few things about Bozo’s past, things that he freely admits in the audio of one of his books. H states that “I drank heavily”, “used a lot of drugs (pleural) and “was not the most model citizen”. Neither of these people are perfect. We really don’t know what he did…. he won’t tell us. But does it really matter or is this just a smokescreen by a very liberal media to throw to discredit a candidate?

Mark in mid-town

May 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

Mr. Bookman, do you ever get embarrassed by being such a hack? Are you that lacking in confidence of being able to stay employed unless you sell your soul in service of your Democratic Party masters? The same liberal msm that did it’s best to cover-up, excuse or ignore Obama’s associations as an adult now think we all need to know that Romney did something mean to another student as a teenager, even though these kind of pranks were common at the time as standards were different? Good grief!

Jay

May 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

I did stupid things in high school and early college. But with the ill-judged exception of egging the dean’s house, it was self-destructive rather than sadistic or vindictive in nature.

barking frog

May 10th, 2012
5:25 pm

Jay,
Sorry to hear that. Did he
leave a diary?

Paul

May 10th, 2012
5:25 pm

“. I’m just wondering how far folks are willing to go with this “he was only 18″ argument.”

And I’m just as interested how far folks who weren’t disposed to vote for him in the first place will go with the “this obviously shows his true, bullying, uncaring pathological nature and disqualifies him from holding office ever again” ‘arguments.’

Thulsa Doom

May 10th, 2012
5:26 pm

SO what. I bully liberals all day. And I’m not even 16.

Mighty desperate media to dredge up high school bullying from 50 freaking years ago. Sheesh. Is that all they got?

Mighty curious timing also. O comes out with his gay marriage statement yesterday and today the media is implying that Romney was beating up perceived gays as a youngster. Too funny!

getalife

May 10th, 2012
5:26 pm

We will get to finally meet the real willard romney.

Starting off apologizing is not a good start meeting the real willard romney.

They BOTH suck

May 10th, 2012
5:28 pm

kayaker

Sort of sounds like the birther and Muslim bs, does it not?

I think this story is going no where fast

kayaker 71

May 10th, 2012
5:28 pm

Man, after re-reading that 5:24, I could use some lessons in grammar.

pogo

May 10th, 2012
5:29 pm

This is indeed comical as we knew absolutely nothing about the young Obama before he was elected. Nothing and and for the most part, we still don’t. We do however know that he is a failure as a president, that is for sure.

Jay and the liberals have lowered themselves to the point that they are digging up stuff from Romney’s childhood to try to divert attention away from the reality that is the failure of the Obama administration. Jay, you liberals really have gone TABLOID, haven’t you? I always thought you had it in you. You sit and try to portray the high ground while at the same time you are willing to dig deep into the filth to try to destroy any person that disagrees with you. There is not a person alive that didn’t do things as a child that they are sorry of but you have to exploit the thing with Romney as if child of yesterday is the man today. If this rule you liberals are desperately trying to apply to Romney is true, then Obama truly is a Muslim and his allegiance truly is to the Muslim faith, isn’t it? God Jay, I thought you were better than this.

Thulsa Doom

May 10th, 2012
5:29 pm

The indignant and self righteous bullyboaters are out in full force today. Hate on. As if this event that happened 50 years ago has anything to do with today. Sheeesh.

getalife

May 10th, 2012
5:29 pm

mark,

Apologize for being a con hack.

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 10th, 2012
5:29 pm

Chuck, who do,you consider a good candidate/president? Not being snarky, just curious?

Brosephus™

May 10th, 2012
5:29 pm

seems to me this stellar businessman and his staff are fumbling one opportunity after another to do their turnaround thing.

Yuuupp!!!

Jay

May 10th, 2012
5:30 pm

I see, Mark.

In your world, my political blog should simply ignore the most read and most-talked-about political story of the day.

Now, other than laying out the basic story here, with links to the original sources so people can go read and judge for themselves, what have I written about Romney’s actions that you find so objectionable? Apparently such things are not even to be noticed, is that correct?

getalife

May 10th, 2012
5:31 pm

You cons attacked our President when he was young so this is fair game cons.

Deal with it cons.

pogo

May 10th, 2012
5:31 pm

And Jay, we all know what the Muslim faith thinks of homosexuals, don’t we? They pretty much execute them, don’t they?

Chuck

May 10th, 2012
5:33 pm

I will not only vote for, but campaign for the first “so called leader” that will stand up and speak the truth about the only way we will ever fix our economy is to slash the big 3 Social Security, Medicare, and the Military. Who they may have picked on when they were 18 years old means “NOTHING, ZERO, NADA, ZILCH” We need to quit being distracted by the shiny thing and focus on solving the problems.

Jay

May 10th, 2012
5:33 pm

A child, Pogo?

18 years old is a child?

Right. If a 16-year-old shoots someone, Pogo, should he be tried as “a child”?

We’ve sentenced 16 year olds to Death Row in this country, and Romney was “a child” at 18?

Doggone/GA

May 10th, 2012
5:33 pm

“Apparently such things are not even to be noticed, is that correct?”

Oh no, of course not. But they should only be noticed if they are about things like where a 6 year old boy went to school, and what he ate when he was 9 years old.

pogo

May 10th, 2012
5:34 pm

getalife, apologize for being a liberal lackey.

josef

May 10th, 2012
5:34 pm

JAY

Ooooh! Biting my tongue here! But, YOU know what I’m thinking… and Unmentionable told me to quit picking on you! I don’t cross him… :-)

kayaker 71

May 10th, 2012
5:34 pm

Bookman, 5:30,

It is the “most read about story of the day”, thanks to people like you and the liberal press which make it so. This will continue until November. Anything….. yes, anything that will detract from the failure that this clown has become is fair game. You don’t have anything else.

Thulsa Doom

May 10th, 2012
5:34 pm

FWIW I woulda kicked the kid’s ass too.

(keep up the good fight facetious statement disclaimer- in other words don’t take that statement seriously)

ty webb

May 10th, 2012
5:34 pm

“I did stupid things in high school and early college. But with the ill-judged exception of egging the dean’s house,”

just wait til you run for President…I can see it now, WaPo runs a story on how you practiced animal cruelty and vandalism, and heaven forbid the dean was a minority, or were talking about committing a “hate crime”…well since you’re on their team, I doubt WaPo runs this story…Maybe fox News picks it up.

getalife

May 10th, 2012
5:36 pm

There is a romney mormon complex in Mexico that needs to be addressed so lets look at willard’s childhood in Mexico.

Was willard born there?

barking frog

May 10th, 2012
5:36 pm

An 18 year old man is
not a child and neither is
a 17 or 16 year old and
actions as a teenager do
carry forward as many
prisoners can testify to.
This should be verified
and if true should have
consequences.

AU Liberal in ATL

May 10th, 2012
5:36 pm

I don’t know if he was a lousy kid or not and I really don’t care. I do know he’s a lousy adult and I really do care about that.

Jay

May 10th, 2012
5:36 pm

You need to work on that “biting your tongue” thing, Josef. You’re not too good at it.

josef

May 10th, 2012
5:37 pm

BOTH

I disagree with you on the “nowhere fast.” I think it’s got more traction than the dog on the roof of the car, myself…his detractors are not going to let it go until something juicier comes up…

Thulsa Doom

May 10th, 2012
5:37 pm

Well of course libs want to talk about a bullying incident from 50 years ago. What the hell did you think they wanted to talk about today? The economy?