Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney apologized for alleged pranks he pulled in high school, but denied they constituted bullying of gay students.
A Washington Post piece insinuated that pranks the likely GOP nominee pulled during his years at a Michigan all-boys high school 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” in school.
He laughed off most the 45 year-old anecdotes during the radio interview.
“I’m not going to be too concerned," he said. "I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that, well, you just say to yourself ... in high school 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.
Asked if he remembered cutting the hair of one of his classmates at the Cranbook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., 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, noting, “homosexuality was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.”
“As for pranks, 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 asserted several times that the 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 couldn't be motivated by homophobia.
Despite his opposition to gay marriage, a more moderate Romney made overtures to the gay community as a candidate for office in the past.