WASHINGTON D.C. (ABC 4 News) - The Washington Post leveled the charge today that Mitt Romney was involved in a bullying incident that happened nearly 50-years ago when Romney was in high school.
Five former classmates at the private Cranbrook School in Bloomington, Michigan told a Post reporter that a teenage Romney was part of group that went after a student who some thought was gay.
While others held him down, Romney reportedly took scissors to the boy's bleached, blond hair and made several cuts. Romney classmate Phillip Maxwell was one of the students who held him down, "I had an arm and leg. He was pinned down by the state champion wrestler, the captain of the football team -- this was bullying supreme."
"It's a haunting memory," continued Maxwell. "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."
Gregg Dearth, another classmate at Cranbrook, remembered Romney loved pranks, but was never malicious. Dearth said, "It's kind of like when somebody comes to a pool party and you threaten to throw them in and maybe somebody actually does. my suspicion is that they jokingly said hey, let's go cut his hair and went down the hall and you hold the scissors close to his ear and you make a lot of snipping sounds and you may traumatize the guy a little or scare the guy a little but no harm no foul."
Confronted with the allegation on the campaign trail, Romney claimed he didn't remember the incident, but apologized anyway. "I've seen the reports and not going to argue with that," Romney said. "There's no question I did some stupid things when I was in high school and obviously if I hurt anyone by virtue of that, I would be very sorry for it and apologize for it."
Romney explained that as a teen, he was a prankster and even caused a bit of trouble.
He also said that he changed dramatically after meeting his future wife Ann and then serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "I'm a very different person than I was in high school," Romney said.