Romney a bully: I knew Mr. Clean wasn't so clean

Romney a bully: I knew Mr. Clean wasn't so clean

I knew sooner or later something negative would come out about Mitt Romney. All along he has seemed a little too squeaky clean for my taste. Way too perfect. Slick hair, handsome (if you like that look) and wealthy. Married to Mrs. Clean with all those kids and grandkids. Just too perfect for me. I was waiting for just one thing to blow that image. I wait no longer.

The Washington Post has uncovered the fact that while in high school, Mr. Romney was a bully. Not even the mild kind if there is such a thing. The outright, beat a poor soul to the ground and cut the guy’s hair off kind of bully. The hold a door closed so a sight impaired teacher would walk into it kind.

This morning in an attempt to keep his campaign untarnished, Romney rushed to extend an apology to those he may have hurt. Where was this remorse back then? He also referred to his actions as “hijinks”. His response to the whole incident: “There’s going to be some that want to talk about high school. Well, if you really think that’s important, be my guest.”

Well yes it is important. It’s VERY important because now, if we had not before we certainly do question his character. He apparently believes he has a right to dismiss what he did as a youth as immature and claim he has changed. What he has not given thought to is how the lives of those he bullied were affected. How the trauma of his actions changed their lives.

As a former victim of bullying which I wrote about last fall, my life was permanently scarred. There are no words to describe what it feels like to be ridiculed, humiliated and tortured on a regular basis. Bullies may claim to change as they grow older but the fact that they were that hateful, that intolerant of anything that did not fit into their world begs a question. How could we as a country ever consider electing a man who despite the time lapse, was resposible for this:

“Romney, incensed by the dyed blond locks of a fellow student, led what the Post described as a “posse” of students in a charge against the boy, threw him to the ground and hacked off his hair. “He can’t look like that,” Romney told a close friend at the time. “That’s wrong. Just look at him!”

We cannot discount this. Bullying has become one of the biggest problems facing our society. Young people are committing suicide as a result of it. Just yesterday, 13 year old Rachel Emke of Minnesota killed herself after months of bullying. Do you think her parents will forget as time passes?

The most glaringly obvious issue here is that there were no apologies to the young man, no “I’m sorry’s” until today when forced to do so how many years later? And only to save his campaign.  That young man with the blonde dyed locks passed away in 2004. He remembered what happened in high school up until his death. Sorry Mr. Romney that your character doesn’t allow you to think that such insignificant things need to be brought to the light now.

I’d like to personally thank the Washington Post for reporting this. It’s critical that the American people know what they’re dealing with. Remember the saying that “leopards don’t change their spots”. Bullies don’t either.





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  • "She hurts my heart, Mama," says my sensitive little boy of the girl at his preschool who constantly makes fun of his choice of clothes. This behavior HAS to be nipped in the bud - and if someone is doing it in high school, I agree, that behavior has now become innate and has not gone away.

  • In reply to jiyer:

    Ohhhh, that makes me sad. And yes, it has to be stopped. Give him a hug from me, he has a wonderful mother that will always be at his side.

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    My wife is a school social worker who deals with bullys' as well as performing training on how to deal with such despicable actions. We've spent many hours discussing specific instances and general themes.

    This post of yours I find disturbing because your bias is abundantly clear and your facts are incorrect (see below), leading you to unfounded conclusions.

    First, we are talking about 1965 here, 45 years ago. That doesn't legitimize anything, but let's set the timeline here, and remember this as a very different time and place. According to the report, it says "tackled" him to the ground and not "beat" him as you suggest. Correct? According to the report, there is also once instance reported, and not that of a serial bully(er). I just read the article so I believe my facts to be correct.

    There are many things people have done in their lifetime that they may not be proud of. Every makes mistakes, especially in their youth. I'm sure Mitt Romney is not proud of this, as we are not proud of things we have done in the past. However, this once instance which happened 45 years ago doesn't conclude that Mitt Romney has been a bully all his life, nor even through his childhood or early adult years. Do you really think anyone, include yourself Teppy, hasn't emotionally bullyied other kids during their youth? What about clique's in grade school and high school where someone is left out and hurt by others purposely? You never did that ever during your school years? Doesn't make you a serial bully. Your daughter went to might ask her what happens at Frats when pledges gets Hazed day in and day out. Have you discussed that? I have experienced it myself. Do I think those people were serial bullies? No. What about sports teams when Rookies get hazed or bullied? The instance reported in no way appears to present a serial bully but rather a dub foolish prank by 18 year old Prep School kids at a time when things like that were even more accepted than they are now. Seriousuly Teppy. I'm not downplaying bullying in general...I live it everyday with my wife. I hear about the Facebook bulling, and even have read reports on Facebook and on the news about current techers bullying special ed students! A high school prank/stunt 45 years ago in no way leads me to the conclusion that Mitt Romney was a Bully at that time.

    I'm disappointed because your bias comes across too heavily..even though this is a blog and not a reporter writing for a newspaper. I'd also like for you to respond to the "beat" him down versus "tackled." Oh, and I would ask your daughter about what occurs at IU as far as hazing - which IS and can be both emotionally and physically abusive. Odds are that she is friends with the very same people that conducted that behavior. Only problem with that is that it is recent and not 50 years ago.

    Very disappointed.

  • In reply to Chris Freeding:

    Chris, to use your language and accepted accounts of what occurred, Mitt Romney tackled a peer to the ground, had others hold him there, then sheared him with scissors. That is not a prank, nor a stunt, nor hijinks. That is assault. That same child tackled to the ground would receive an, "Atta, Girl," from young Mitt when he responded in class, thereby negating his weak apology today that he did not know his victim was gay. Young Mitt also shut doors in front of a teacher with visual impairment, causing said teacher to stumble into them. Some hijinks.

    Bad things happen in 2012 and bad things happened in 1965. The passage of time in no way excuses the behavior uncovered by the press and reported today.

    And as far as Teppi's bias? Well, my friend, this is a blog, not a news article. Blogs are not journalism, not held to the standards of journalism, and not responsible to do anything other than convey the thoughts and experiences of the writer. Teppi has identified herself as the victim of bullying, which is why, I am guessing, she feels so passionately about today's news. I am grateful for her POV and willingness to share it. MTM.

  • In reply to Chris Freeding:

    Sorry that you are disappointed. I do in fact just offer my opinion on this blog as I am not as you say, a reporter.

    I can honestly tell you in my heart of hearts that I never once in my entire life bullied someone or intentionally made anyone feel left out. As a matter of fact during my high school years I went out of my way to befriend kids that were bullied. I have always had a soft spot for those people as I knew and know how much it hurts.

    For the sake of semantics I apologize for stating "beaten" instead of tackled. However, cutting the boy's hair off and telling him he could not look that way? Holding a door closed to a sight impaired teacher so he would walk into it? Taunting a closeted gay boy by always saying "atta girl"? Those are several instances - not just an isolated one.

    It calls to a persons character in my opinion. Not just any person, not an athlete, not a frat boy, a man hoping to run the country.

    My daughter did not belong to a sorority or associate with frat boys. She did not care for their lifestyle or attitudes. Hazing is not acceptable in my eyes either. It is ridiculous - again in my opinion.

    I applaud your wife for working with bullied students or the bullies themselves. As a victim of years of intense bullying yes, I am scarred emotionally. I have learned to deal with it although the pain will never really go away. I have always been ultra sensitive to the subject, particularly now when I see young people taking their lives over it.

    To me it doesn't matter if this happened 45 years ago. I don't see it as a prank or stunt. What I do see is that he was cruel and hateful. I'm very sorry that you disagree, I assumed that there were people that would. And that's okay!

    I hope that this won't keep you from reading future opinions of mine. Few are political and I plan to keep it that way. Thanks for your thoughts.

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    I have been a victim of bullying and hazing as well, as I mentioned above, and vehemently do not condone it.

    Do you feel grateful for my point of view and willingness to share my opinion as well? Or not so much as I'm not drawing the same conclusions on the overall life and personality (of a Republican /Conservative) that are in agreement with yours and Teppi's? I also stated above the same thing you repeated about being a blog versus reporting on the news. However, there should be a responsibility to present fairly and accurately the account of what occurred - and the account of what occurred was described by Teppi (apologies for the misspelling previously) as "Beat" him to the ground as opposed to "Tackled" as it was reported by the Washington Post. At that point it appeared more of an anti-Romney opportunity than an opportunity to create fresh dialogue about the issue of bullying in general. Will I be bullied on here b/c I don't share the same eagerness to vilify a man for something that occurred half a century ago and doesn't necessarily constitute a pattern of behavior nor encapsulate a person's life?

  • Chris, differences of opinion are the key to assessment and, if necessary, reform. The opinions you have expressed in your comments are just as valid as anyone else's. However, to call your assessment "fact based," as opposed to Teppi's, would be inaccurate. Both of you read the article, drew conclusions, and expressed your opinions based on those conclusions. Neither of you did any "fact checking," you are simply interpreting what the article means to each of you. And expressing a personal opinion without checking on the facts is well within the umbrella of free speech - if not, then many blogs would bite the dust :)

    Perhaps Teppi's outrage is based on conjecture and her personal experiences, but your view of the incident in a more moderate light is also based on conjecture. For example, you say "I'm sure Mitt Romney is not proud of this" - that, unless you have obtained the information directly from Mr. Romney, is conjecture.

    Finally, I happen to relate to Teppi's opinion - not because it is "reporter accurate," but because, as the mother of a sensitive young boy, incidents such as these give me cause for concern (and several friends of Romney have now added what, in my opinion, are disturbing additional facets to the story). I am especially bothered by your opinion that only "serial bullies" are a threat to society. In my opinion, we must stamp out every single instance of bullying, be it isolated or part of a pattern.

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