Andrew Sullivan points out that one of the witnesses / participants in the hair-cutting incident described himself and his friends as “a pack of dogs:”
“It’s a haunting memory. I think it was for everybody that spoke up about it… because when you see somebody who is simply different taken down that way and is terrified and you see that look in their eye you never forget it. And that was what we all walked away with,” said Phillip Maxwell, who is now an attorney and still considers Romney an old friend.
“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.”
Today, Romney actually laughed off the assault. Laughed. We have two options: this man is so callous that, unlike all those others involved in this assault, he has forgotten it. Or he is a liar.
Now Romney seems to recall the kid and says he “certainly doesn’t believe” that he and his buddies tackled that kid and cut his hair because he thought he was one of those homosexual fellows.
Seems like the Romney campaign realizes that average people don’t consider this kind of physical bullying as some kind of “prank” or youthful “hiijinks.” In fact average people consider this level of physical bullying as vile, disturbing, and cruel. Especially coming from Mitt the governor’s son, born into wealth and privilege.
Yet Romney gave one of those “if-then” conditional non-apologies:
Romney: “Back in high school I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended by that I apologize.”
He further said: “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s.”
Earlier Romney, through spokespeople, had said he didn’t remember the incidents.
He didn’t remember the incident but he remembers the guy? Josh Marshall adds even more background:
And more is coming out. The Romney campaign has apparently already spoken to a number of ex-classmates asking them to step forward and speak on Mitt’s behalf. And ABC has spoken to a number of them. Here’s one graph from a piece just published by ABC.
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 [the hair-cutting incident].
“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.
LORD OF THE FLIES. As JM Ashby points out,
Many of us did things in our childhood we regret, however not all of us went on to bankrupt companies for profit, strong-arm our political opponents, or sideline our national security adviser because Bryan Fischer doesn’t approve of his homosexuality…
Bullies grow up and just find different ways to inflict pain on others for their own amusement or gain.