Last week, a Washington Post story about presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney hit the front page and set off a firestorm. According to the story, nearly 50 years ago Mitt Romney and several of his friends bullied a classmate of theirs to the ground. While the young man was restrained, Romney cut off some of his long blond locks. It was also alleged that this young victim might have had ‘gay tendencies.’
In an attempt to diffuse the situation, Romney apologized for anything he may have done in his high school years that offended or hurt anyone. Romney said that while he didn't remember this specific incident, he did a lot of stupid things in his youth, and was sorry if he caused anyone pain. He also made sure to point out that one's sexual preference was never on his mind when it came to the pranks he pulled. That should have been the end of it, especially considering this all supposedly happened nearly 50 years ago.
For liberals hoping to derail the Romney’s rise in the polls, it was almost too perfect. A story about the presumed GOP nominee having bullied someone who may have been gay comes out the day after President Obama came out in personal support of gay marriage. However, unfortunately for those ready to start putting nails in Romney’s coffin, there are several things that warrant a further look.
The timing of this article is a little too perfect. The day after Obama comes out in personal support of gay marriage, a story that by all accounts appears tailor made to make his primary opponent look like a gay-hating bully hits the newsstands. Are we really supposed to believe this story was finished the day before it hit newsstands? Please.
One possibility is that the White House could be directly correlating with their friends in the liberal media. Others will say that there are simply plenty of liberal journalists out there who have a cache of anti-Romney stories ready to go for any occasion. They waited for an opportunity and attempted to nail him to the wall. What a better way to try and knock Romney down after Obama makes history?
A second thing to take a look at is the facts in the story. Almost every fact about the story has come into question. The family members of the alleged victim, John Lauber, said that the accounts on Romney’s prank are ‘factually incorrect,’ and that the story appeared to be politically motivated. Both of Laubers' sisters failed to recall hearing about the incident.
If that were not enough, the star source for the Washington Post piece later said that he was actually not present at the time that prank occurred. Oops!
So Romney was a prankster in high school, 50 years ago. Here’s a news flash: Everyone does dumb things in high school. If we as a country are going to go this deep into every single mistake everyone has every done in their lives, then we might as well admit that no one is eligible to ever run for president ever again.
Ironically enough, not many people in the mainstream media attempted to skewer President Obama for admitting to shoving a little girl in school, or for saying that he enthusiastically used drugs in high school, or for associating with the ever cheerful Bill Ayers later on in life. However, many reporters did get in line to beat up George W. Bush for his history of drinking.
In 1965, Romney was pulling pranks in a prep school. People change. They grow up. Certainly no one would argue that the president is the same man he was in high school.
Sometimes change occurs over time, and sometimes it’s because of a shock to the system. After prep school Romney was a missionary in France, during which time he was involved in a car crash that placed him into a coma and nearly killed him. Fast-forward another few years, he was much more serious person, as well as a college grad, a husband, father, and a successful businessman who volunteered with his church.
No one is the person they were five years ago, let alone fifty! One of the few things that everyone has in common is the list of things they wish they had done differently. We’ve all hurt people and said things we regret. We’ve all made mistakes. If Obama’s cocaine use did not disqualify him from running for president, then neither should Romney’s history of teenage pranks.
The media is trying to make something out of nothing, and looking incredibly desperate in the process. Sadly, this is the kind of mistake they will never learn from or come to regret.