Romney Issues Half-Assed Apology For Bullying Gay Kid In H.S., GLSEN Calls It Out

Romney issued a perfunctory, half-assed apology for severely bullying a kid perceived to be gay in high school. Mere hours after the story ran in the Washington Post, he scheduled a quickie interview with FOX’s Steve Brian Kilmeade.

Just to underscore his sincerity and seriousness, Romney even included a hearty chuckle in the middle of his apology, saying:

“Back in high school, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that. I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize… I don’t remember that incident. [laughs] I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case… As this person indicated, he was closeted,” Romney said. “I had no idea that he was gay and can’t speak to that even today. But as to the teasing or the taunts that go on in high school, that’s a long time ago. For me, that’s about 48 years ago. Again, if there’s anything I said that is offensive to someone, I certainly am sorry for that, very deeply sorry for that.”

So, so sorry. Let’s all move on! Nothing to see here.

There’s nothing like an apology without any redemptive action. It’s like people think their wrongs can be cleared up with words. They can’t. You need to do something about it, too, which GLSEN duly called out.

Said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard:

“This is deeply troubling behavior on the part of an individual in Governor Mitt Romney’s position. Romney’s so-called apology for his past actions sheds new light on his disturbing track record on bullying and suicide prevention while Governor of Massachusetts. Far from being ‘hijinks’ or a ‘prank,’ Romney’s behavior toward his high school classmate amounted to harassment and assault. And GLSEN remembers all too well Romney’s troubling record while he was Governor of Massachusetts on programs designed to protect LGBT youth and prevent youth suicide. Nearly one in five lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students will be assaulted at school this year. What would Mr. Romney propose to do as President to address this horrifying reality?”

Well, he could go march in a Pride Parade, for starters.