In Defense of Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney caucus eve in Clive 022 by, on Flickr
Mitt Romney caucus eve in Clive 022 by, on Flickr

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that as a student at Cranbrook in 1965, Mitt Romney led a group of classmates in an attack on another student who was held down while Romney clipped off his long blonde hair with scissors. All day yesterday my twitter timeline was bashing Mitt Romney on this point, focusing on the bullying as if something that Mr Romney did at the age of 18 in high school, is indicative of the man today.

When you were in high school, did you do anything that you regret today? Holding down a kid and cutting off his hair is certainly extreme but I’ve done stuff that’s in the same wheelhouse. In junior high, when kids were getting dressed after gym, a group of us guys would physically grab a kid and throw him into the running shower in his underwear. In retrospect, that was probably a pretty traumatizing experience for these kids and I would never do such a thing now. I used racial and homophobic slurs as a teen that I would never use as an adult. I’m deeply embarrassed by that behavior but those things that I did then doesn’t define me today nor does it even speak to the type of person I am.

His initial apology seemed dismissive to me and I think he deserves criticism for that but the other is just nasty politics that turns me off and it’s pretty unfair to Mr Romney. I honestly think that Mr Romney is probably a pretty decent human being and even though I doubt he holds all of the beliefs he espouses in order to get nominated, I think he’d be too beholden to the party.

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