Romney’s Weasel Problem
You can wince at the cruelty of adolescence, as many did, after reading the Washington Post account of how a teenage Mitt Romney led a gang of prep school buddies to attack another boy. “Senseless,” “vicious” and “stupid” were the words used by witnesses quoted by name in the piece.
But to hold the 65-year-old presumptive Republican nominee for president accountable for what he may have done as a mean-spirited teenager is unfair. Because he acted like a bully then no more makes Romney a bully now than does that fact that young Barack Obama tried “maybe a little blow” make him a coke-head.
More troubling is Romney’s continued inability to honestly face up to his own life story and those inconvenient truths that interfere with the ideas of the vocal right-wing of the party whose standard he will soon bear.
On multiple occasions over the last year, Romney has shown a tendency to dodge, weave, parse or deny in such a way that it outweighs the original offense. It’s his weasel problem, a real character flaw.
On the bully attack of the boy with the bleached-blond hair, Romney issued a standard political non-apology, chuckling at first, saying he couldn’t remember what he called “high jinks,” but also not denying the incident.
Asked to clarify, he went into weasel mode. “I don’t remember them all, but again, high school days, if I did stupid things, why I’m afraid I’ve got to say I’m sorry for it,” he said on Fox News Radio, the corporate couch for Republicans who need a reassuring hug in a bad moment.