After The Washington Post unveiled the story of a young Mitt Romney forcibly cutting the hair of a classmate because of his perceived homosexuality, the Romney campaign reached out to Mitt’s fellow classmates hoping to find someone willing contradict the Post story.
The Romney campaign has so far emerged empty-handed in that endeavor, however some classmates, including one who participated in the assault, have come forward to describe their reaction to the event in more vivid detail.
A high school classmate of presidential candidate Mitt Romney told ABC News today that he considers a particular prank the two pulled at Michigan’s Cranbrook School to be “assault and battery” and that he witnessed Romney hold the scissors to cut the hair of a student who was being physically pinned to the ground by several others. [...]
“I saw it with my own eyes,” said Maxwell, of the anecdote first reported by the Washington Post. Maxwell said Romney held the scissors helping to cut the hair of a student, John Lauber, who was presumed to be gay and who had long hair. “It was a hack job … clumps of hair taken off.”
Maxwell said he held the boy’s arm and leg, describing he and his friends as a “pack of dogs.” [...]
Asked if he has any doubt that what Romney did could be considered bullying, Maxwell responded, “Oh my god, are you kidding? … I castigated myself regularly for not having intervened. I would have felt a lot better about myself had I said, ‘Hey, enough.’”
“When I saw the look on his [Lauber's] face, it was a look I’ll never forget,” said Maxwell. “When you see a victim, the sense of trust betrayed in this boy who was perfectly innocent for being different.”
“This was bullying supreme,” he said.
Considering how traumatized those who participated in the attack were, and the detail in which they can recall the event 50 years later, it’s inconceivable that Mitt Romney can’t remember any of it.
I’ve heard the argument that childhood (and I use the term childhood with reservations, as he was 18 years old in 1965) antics such as this shouldn’t be used against Mitt Romney, and normally I would agree, however Mitt Romney’s reputation as a bully extends well into his adult life, throughout his time at Bain Capital, and during his stent as the governor of Massachusetts.
There’s a pattern to Romney’s emotional absence this story lends credence to.