BOSTON (CBS) – Back in 1965, Mitt Romney, then a senior at the Cranbrook School in Michigan allegedly took part in the bullying of another student.
The Washington Post first broke the story, but one of story’s sources spoke directly to WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens on Thursday.
Listen to Carl’s report:
Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, apparently couldn’t stand John Lauber, a fellow student who most kids at the school thought was gay.
“I think that what began as sort of ribbing degenerated into an assault. It was a very disturbing incident for everybody that was there who witnessed it,” said Phillip Maxwell, now a Michigan attorney, was a friend of Romney’s at the time.
Maxwell said that he and some other kids went along with it as they pinned down the boy and Romney cut his hair.
“I remember a young man being very terrified. I remember the realization almost immediately that this whole thing had gone too far and it was destructive and wrong, and I think that feeling is shared by everybody who was either involved in it or witnessed it,” said Maxwell.
“I think (Romney) conceived of the thing. He had the scissors in his hand, and I’d have to say he was the ring leader of it,” added Maxwell.
But Romney, speaking on Fox Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends” on Thursday, said he doesn’t specifically recall the incident, but did offer his apology for anything “stupid” that he could have done.
“As to pranks that were played back then, I don’t remember them all, but again, high school days that I did stupid things, I’m afraid that I gotta say sorry for it,” said Romney.
Maxwell said no one who was there could ever forget what happened.
“I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t remember this incident,” said Maxwell.
It’s not clear how this story could affect voters in November, though it is clear, from President Barack Obama’s stance on gay marriage, that attitudes toward gays could be some kind of a ballot box issue.
“I think if you run for president, you better expect this kind of thing,” said Maxwell.