(OMAHA, Neb) — Mitt Romney on Thursday offered an apology after a Washington Post piece alleged pranks the candidate pulled during his years at an all-boys high school in Michigan targeted his gay peers.
Romney admitted during a radio interview that he did some “dumb things,” but that “homosexuality was the furthest thing from his mind” when it came to the jokes he played on classmates.
“I’m not going to be too concerned about their piece they talk about the fact that I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that well you just say to yourself, back in high school well I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended obviously I apologize but overall high school years were a long time ago,” said Romney about his years at the Cranbook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Asked specifically as to whether he remembered an anecdote in the Washington Post story that describes Romney cutting the hair of one of his classmates who was “presumed” to be gay because the candidate did not like his long hairstyle, Romney responded, “You know, I don’t.”
“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing, before adding that whether someone was “homosexual, that was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.”
The Washington Post report quotes four students who do recall the incident.
“As for pranks that were played back then, I don’t remember them all, but again you know, [in my] high school days I did a lot of stupid things. I’m afraid I gotta say sorry for it,” Romney said.
Romney asserted several times during the radio interview that the Washington Post article noted that the students who reported having pranks played on them “didn’t come out of the closet until years later,” suggesting that the pranks could not have been targeted at gay students.
“As for the teasing and the taunts that go on in high school, that’s a long time ago, for me that’s about what 48 years ago, if there’s anything I said that was offensive to somebody I’m certainly sorry about that, very deeply sorry about that,” Romney said.
The Washington Post story about Romney’s high school years posted just a day after the issue of same-sex marriage was catapulted to the forefront of the election, with President Obama saying he now supports gay marriage while Romney reaffirmed that he does not.
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