Bullying Story Prompts a Romney Apology ; Newspaper Tells of Attack at Michigan Prep School, When He Was in His Teens

By Shear, Michael D | International Herald Tribune, May 11, 2012 | Go to article overview

Bullying Story Prompts a Romney Apology ; Newspaper Tells of Attack at Michigan Prep School, When He Was in His Teens


Shear, Michael D, International Herald Tribune


An examination of Mitt Romney's years at a prep school describes an episode in which he led a pack of students in tackling another student and cutting off his long blond hair as he screamed for help.

An in-depth examination of Mitt Romney's teenage years at a prestigious private prep school describes an episode in which he bullied a fellow student and portrays Mr. Romney as a prankster who pushed boundaries. After the report came out, Mr. Romney on Thursday apologized for behavior that might have hurt anyone.

The examination, in a lengthy article in The Washington Post, attributes the bullying episode to five former fellow students of Mr. Romney at the Cranbrook School in Michigan. They say he led a pack of students in tackling another student and cutting off his long blond hair as he screamed for help.

Mr. Romney's campaign told The Post that he did not recall the episode involving the student, who The Post said died in 2004. But one of the fellow students called it a "vicious" attack.

The account is likely to revive questions about how much of a candidate's background is fair game in an election, given Mr. Romney's age at the time. The episode in question happened almost 50 years ago, and there have been no recent accounts about bullying behavior by Mr. Romney. And it comes in the middle of a national discussion about gay rights in the wake of President Barack Obama's decision to personally endorse same-sex marriage for the first time. The Post report said the student had been taunted for his "nonconformity and presumed homosexuality."

Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, told The Post that "anyone who knows Mitt Romney knows that he doesn't have a meanspirited bone in his body. …

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