Mitt Romney‘s behavior as a high school student was described as “evil” and “like Lord of the Flies,” according to one classmate who says Romney’s gay-bashing attack on a young gay student has made the handful of prep school students involved “very remorseful,” and says Romney must be lying to not remember it. And another classmate, Phillip Maxwell — who today is an attorney in Michigan — characterized Romney’s attack on the gay student as “an assault and a battery.”
At issue is a heart-wrenching exposé in yesterday’s Washington Post, which, as The New Civil Rights Movement reported yesterday, depicts a Mitt Romney who was a gay-bashing high school bully who said, “Atta girl,” to effeminate boys and shockingly had a days-long emotional attack that culminated with him pinning down a gay classmate, John Lauber, and cutting off his bleached-blond long hair.
“Mitt was a prankster, there’s no doubt about it. This thing with Lauber wasn’t a prank. This was, well, as a lawyer, it was an assault. It was an assault and a battery. And I’m sure that John Lauber carried it with him for the rest of his life,” Maxwell said to CBS News, which adds that Romney’s so-called “pranks” were remembered “as cruel, insensitive or frightening to the victims.”
“I’ve carried this story with me a long time. It was very disturbing. I think that view is shared by everyone involved in it,” Maxwell says. “It just was a black mark on my character that I didn’t stop it.”
“Certainly all of us who were involved in it have very distinct memories of it. I would think if you were the perpetrator your memories would be even sharper,” Maxwell added.
ABC News adds that another “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 ‘like Lord of the Flies.’
The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember it.
“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.
Lauber died in 2004.
Editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo Josh Marshall yesterday noted:
I’ve seen other publications refer to these incidents from Romney’s childhood years as ‘pranks’. I was in high school. I pulled pranks. These alleged incidents don’t strike me as remotely things I’d describe as pranks or hijinks. As reported, they come off as vicious and disturbing, even the sort of stuff that was seen as pretty unaccepted in a very, very different era.
High school for a 65-year-old is a long time ago. I’m 43 and it seems like a long time ago. I was a different person in many ways. What strikes me most about this story is Romney’s intense equivocation. First he didn’t remember the incidents. Then he apologized to anyone who was offended but without saying he remembered anything specific. Then he said that he definitely didn’t know or think the kid they attacked was gay, even though he apparently didn’t remember the attack.
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