JIM CREES: Cut teenage Romney some slack

Well, once again the American electorate — or at least the press reporting to those voters — have demonstrated what is really important.

Mitt Romney was a bully ... in high school ... at Cranbrook Academy ... in 1965 ...


When “sources” revealed Romney had bullied some kid (forcibly cutting his hair) the news media and anti-Romney crowd went absolutely wild.

There was an explosion of headlines.

“Prank or Pattern? Why Romney’s Bullying Is Relevant to the Election?”

“Obama and Romney: the evolutionary hero vs. the bully”

“Mitt Romney’s ‘hijinks’ seen as bullying today?”

“Romney’s high school bullying”

And more ... and more ... and more ...

If you create a search for the phrase “romney bullying” in Google News, you come up with more than 3,000 potential articles or entries.

Try a search for some configuration of the word “afghanistan” and you’ll be rewarded with less than 1,300 potential articles or stories.

Romney the teenage bully.

Hmmmmmm ...

Now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it would be quite a stretch of the imagination to say, claim, or suppose that I am a supporter of Mitt Romney in the coming presidential election.

I may not be too happy with the present office holder, but I sure as heck don’t believe that Romney is a viable replacement.

Nevertheless ...


Really? The best they can do to disparage his personality is trot out some stupid thing the guy did while a teenager ... in high school.

Oh my gosh.

Let’s review.

Romney’s supposed “bullying” occurred when he was a student at Cranbrook Academy.

Now, I grew up in Detroit.

We thought anybody, but ANYBODY who attended Cranbrook Academy was ... um ...er ... pitiable.

Sure, they obviously had money, but really? Cranbrook Academy?

So Romney was a “tough guy” at Cranbrook Academy?

Seriously? He should have tried a week or two at Finney High School!

Or Denby. Or Kettering. Or Southeastern. Or Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tough guy? Cranbrook Academy?

Are you kidding me?

What does bullying entail at Cranbrook? Stuffing a persons ears with cotton so they can’t hear the carillon concert at noon?

Nevertheless, Romney was apparently a bully at Cranbrook.


It was 1965.

Holy moly. I don’t want people knowing what I did in 1965, 1970, 1975 or just about any time before I got married.

That would not be a good thing.

Once upon a time, I reproduced a report card I received back in Finney along with an article I published in the old Evart Review.

It was, needless to say, not a report card of which any mother would be proud.

My daughter was horrified.

“How can you print that? People will actually see how stupid you were.”

(I was happy she said “stupid you were” and not “stupid you are.”)

Folks, truth be known, pretty much all of us were “stupid” at one point or the other in life — even those who attended Cranbrook Academy.

For those of you who do not know this simple truth, let me elucidate.

Teenagers do dumb things. High school is a placed packed to the gunwales with teenagers. There are a lot of incredibly dumb things done in high school — then, now and in the future.

Surprising enough, most of us get over ‘the stupid stage” in our lives. (Most, not all.)

Considering we all were teenagers at once point; and considering we all have probably done some spectacularly stupid things in our lives, (Yes. That includes YOU.) I think there really is no need to be enthusiastically dumping on Mr. Romney for his being a jerk at the age of 16.

There are plenty of other things I’d like to discuss with him.

None of my questions would have anything, ANYTHING to do with his high school, or high school years.

Maybe somebody cares, but I certainly don’t.

I’d really like to ask Mr. Romney why he feels such a need to pander to religious extremists (such as those at Liberty University over the weekend).

They don’t like him.

They may vote for him, but in truth they are actually only voting against Mr. Obama — not for Mr. Romney.

Why does Mitt feel the need to suck up to the fringe, rather than simply laying out his plan for the future to the middle-of-the-road crowd — the independents who may actually get him elected?

I don’t care what Mitt did in high school.

I am concerned, however, over the stuff he says while kissing up to a bunch of mini-Jerry Falwells.

Let’s cut the guys running for office — all of ‘em — some slack for their 16-year-old behavior.

But don’t forget to pay attention, and don’t be afraid to hold their feet to the fire on stuff  they say and do today.