A Pack of Dogs

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.

  • euroscand

    If as a Mormon he knew the difference of Jesus and the Devil at an early age, then did he think that in this bullying incident he was on the side of Jesus. Apparently, as he left months later to convert people in France to a more enlightening Christian faith called LDS.

  • joseph2004

    If you’ve got solid evidence that this event is a precursor to later such similar behavior, put it on the table. Otherwise it’s just making waves in a kitty pool. Nobody I’ve heard speak on this subject thinks this is a campaign issue. Even Mark Shields last night on PBS Newshour stated that there is no evidence that Mitt Romney in adult life has exhibited any such “bullying” behavior. Quite the opposite, actually.
    You might as well go after Obama who has admitted to bullying others when he was in school, not to mention drinking, smoking, and doing drugs of all sorts etc etc etc. Talk about questionable behavior.
    But of course, extrapolating that into his adult record would be, at best, simply low.
    But not according to Paul Begala, idiot and fabricator in Chief, whose latest headline is “Once a bully, always a bully.” He says that Romney’s high school antics suggest “what we already suspected about him—that he’s a serial abuser of power.”
    Really. And A serial abuser of power. Clever use of words, isn’t it, especially the “serial” part. Yep, Romney is certifiable. Bordering on insane.
    But then that attitude about Romney (and using an incident that happened when he was a kid (anyone over 40 tends to view anyone at or under 25 as a “kid” – or should I say, 26)) is kind of “birther”-like in its creepiness.
    Give it up. Accusing Romney of being an 18 year old is kids’ stuff.

    • Bubble Genius

      Well, as long as Mark Shields last night on PBS Newshour says there’s no evidence…

      I love the way you dismiss one person’s view as total tripe, but take another individual’s assertion as the gospel just because it fits with your viewpoint. If you’re gonna throw this kind of bullshit out at least be willing to stand behind it without some lameass not-really-validation.

      “You might as well go after Obama who has admitted to bullying others when he was in school, not to mention drinking, smoking, and doing drugs of all sorts etc etc etc. Talk about questionable behavior.”

      You conveniently blur all this together as though this was all happening at the same time, when really the bullying incident (rather than incidentS as you imply) occurred when Barack Obama was in the fifth grade.

      The drinking/smoking/drugging was done as a high school student, and while neither bullying or drugging is recommended behavior, substance abuse is certainly far more common in high school than physical assault, and at least hurts nobody but themselves unless of course they’re driving under the influence, which I think we can all agree is a very bad idea indeed.

      Also, excuse me, but being an 18-year-old and getting a gang of your friends to hold down someone who’s different from you and CUTTING THEIR HAIR OFF is so phenomenally different from being 11 and giving a girl a shove and yelling at her because other kids are teasing you. If Barack Obama had gotten his friends to join in, I’d say you had more to go on. Or if he’d done it after hitting puberty, for fuck’s sake.

      The most important difference which you’re clearly intentionally ignoring, Joe-Joe, is that Barack Obama talked about what a shitty thing it was for him to do, how it even made him feel rotten immediately after having done it. Mitt Romney not only didn’t take responsibility for being a little turd, he actually claimed he didn’t remember holding a struggling teenager down and cutting his hair, which makes him either such a sicko that he can’t keep track of all the people he physically harassed as ringleader of his preppy teen gang, or it makes him a giant lying sack of shit. Either way, super-weird and not fitting for a head of state. And his creepy non-apology of “oh, hahaha, I don’t remember that but if I upset anyone doing this thing I don’t remember doing but four of my friends do, oh oops sorry” makes him sound downright psychopathic.

      As with everything else that Romney assumes is “normal,” it is not. He’s an entitled, arrogant, sheltered, clueless millionaire who doesn’t even try to understand the poors, or indeed anyone who differs from him in the least.

      Fuck that guy.

      • Victor_the_Crab

        Love your troll whacking. ;)

  • jjasonham

    Having the GOP spouting that we shouldn’t hold Romney accountable for this is absolutely rich. These are the same people that are inflating every perceived negative action of Obama since his birth, and of his parents before that!

  • Ennealogic

    Had Mitt owned up to this and expressed sincere remorse. I would be willing to forgive him. Since he’s feigned forgetfulness and made light of the episode, it’s clear to me that he has no conscience whatsoever. If your inner voice doesn’t inform you about the path you follow in life, you are unfit to lead the country. Sorry. That’s just how it is.

    • agrazingmoose

      He actually laughed about it in the interview. The guy creeps me out.

  • eljefejeff

    I hope this story stays out there. Too bad it didn’t come out in October.

  • Nefercat

    “…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.”

    And this is what has to be emphasized over and over again. Not only that the acts have continued, but that his response is deeply troubling as well.