Mitt Romney has apologized for bullying and shaving the head of a gay classmate in 1965. His victim was crying and distraught as he grabbed him and while his friends held him down, he hacked off his hair. The boy came back from vacation with bleached blonde hair that hung in his eyes and he was enraged by it. And when it was done, everyone cheered as he walked from the room. His victim seemed to disappear from school life after that, he was later expelled and died in 2004 of liver cancer.
Romney's hatred of homosexuals was clear and he taunted any boy he suspected of being gay and was often heard to say "Atta girl." Mitt wouldn't have been the only boy guilty of bullying effeminate-looking boys at school in those days, but it gives us an insight into his character.
Yesterday President Obama threw a spanner in the works by saying he supported gay marriage, knowing very well that Mitt Romney does not. Mitt was worried he may be seen as homophobic and felt the need to apologize for the schoolyard incidents. "Back in high school, I did some dumb things, if anyone was hurt by that, obviously I apologize, but overall, high school years were a long time ago" he said.
Fellow student Thomas Buford, now a retired prosecutor, was one of the boys who helped hold the victim down said "It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me, what a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do." Another fellow student who helped in the attack Phillip Maxwell, now a lawyer added "It was a hack job and it was vicious."
But it wasn't just gay kids he picked on, boys from poor families also suffered his distain. Romney attended Cranebrook, an exclusive all-boys private school in Michigan with annual fees around $54,000. When he discovered that scholarship student Lou Vierling came from a poor area of Detroit, he made his life a misery.
In 1983 Romney was involved in a bizarre incident involving his dog. Seamus the Irish Setter was put in a crate on top of the car because there was no more room inside. The dog remained there for 12 hours while his master drove from Massachusetts to Canada. Does that make him a good problem solver or a man who never gave a thought to his dog's discomfort.
Mr Romney's spokeswoman said yesterday "Anyone who knows Mitt Romney knows that he doesn't have a mean-spirited bone in his body."
It's doesn't seem fair that our school days can come back to haunt us, but then we are not running for the most powerful job in the world.