Young Mitt Romney bullied gay classmate by cutting his hair

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Young Mitt Romney

Today's Washington Post features a long story about Mitt Romney's days as a self-satisfied, conservative schoolboy, and it's not too pretty. Among the article's lowlights is an incident, corroborated by several former schoolmates, in which the possible future President hounded an allegedly gay classmate about his slightly unusual haircut, eventually  pinning him to the ground and cutting his hair in front of a crowd of peers.

During his senior year at prestigious Michigan prep school Cranbrook, Romney took a vehement dislike to classmate John Lauber's new "bleached-blond hair that draped over the eye," reportedly complaining to friends, "He can't look like that. That's wrong. Just look at him!" Tensions soon came to a head: 

"A few days later, [classmate Matthew Friedmann] entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors."

Numerous classmates were troubled by the incident ("It was vicious," said one) and before his death in 2004, Lauber told a former classmate, "It was horrible. It's something I have thought about a lot since then." For his part, though, Romney doesn't recall a thing. "Anyone who knows Mitt Romney knows that he doesn't have a mean-spirited bone in his body," said a spokesman. "The stories of fifty years ago seem exaggerated and off base and Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents."

Not exactly the news Romney probably wants released right on the heels of Obama's historic endorsement of same-sex marriage, but on the plus side, maybe Scissor-gate will finally draw attention away from the dog-on-the-roof incident?

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