Romney Offers Apology for High School Pranks, Says Homosexuality Was Not On His Mind

Image Credit: Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Mitt Romney today offered an apology after a Washington Post piece alleged pranks the candidate pulled during his years at an all-boys high school in Michigan targeted his gay peers.

Romney admitted during a radio interview that he did some "dumb things" but that "homosexuality was the furthest thing from his mind" when it came to the jokes he played on classmates.  He laughed off the 45 year-old anecdotes during the radio interview today.

"I'm not going to be too concerned about their piece they talk about the fact that I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that well you just say to yourself, back in high school well I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended obviously I apologize but overall high school years were a long time ago," said Romney in an interview on Kilmeade and Friends radio show about his years at the Cranbook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Asked specifically as to whether he remembered an anecdote in the story that describes Romney cutting the hair of one of his classmates who was "presumed" to be gay because the candidate did not like his long hairstyle, Romney responded, "You know, I don't."

"I don't remember that incident," Romney said, laughing, before adding that whether someone was "homosexual, that was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case."

The Washington Post report quotes four students who do recall the incident.

"As for pranks that were played back then, I don't remember them all, but again you know, [in my] high school days I did of stupid things. I'm afraid I gotta say sorry for it," Romney said.

Romney asserted several times during the radio interview that the Washington Post article noted that the students who reported having pranks played on them "didn't come out of the closet until years later," suggesting that the pranks could not have been targeted at gay students.

Regarding one story in the article that described Romney encouraging another student who was known for teasing another gay student by remarking, "Atta girl."

"I can't remember, you know my guess is a lot of time in my years in my boarding school where boys who do something and people say he say 'atta girl," said Romney.

"As for the teasing and the taunts that go on in high school, that's a long time ago, for me that's about what 48 years ago, if there's anything I said that was offensive to somebody I'm certainly sorry about that, very deeply sorry about that," Romney said.

The Washington Post story about Romney's high school years posted just a day after the issue of same-sex marriage was catapulted to the forefront of the election, President Obama saying he now supports gay marriage while Romney reaffirmed that he does not.

Romney used the radio interview this morning to suggest that while some may want to talk about pranks he played in high school, he still believes the economy is the most important issue facing the nation.