I'll be honest. When I first heard this story, my initial response was a shoulder shrug. I mean, it was 35 years ago, and while I was not a teenage rebel, I also wouldn't want the high school Kate to inform people on who I am today. So frankly, I gave him a pass. I thought the media was making too much of it.
Until I heard his response.
"I don’t remember that incident and I’ll tell you I certainly don’t believe that I, I can’t speak for other people of course, thought the fellow was homosexual... That was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case. But as to pranks that were played back then, I don’t remember them all, but again, high school days, if I did stupid things, why I’m afraid I got to say sorry for it.”
At least six others are shamed with guilt over it thirty years later... but you don't remember it? You were a bully then, and you're a coward now.
If you seriously don't remember doing that - shame on you. Your conscious is tarnished, and your moral compass rusted over.
If you do remember it, and you're lying? That's even worse. Not a quality I want for the Commander in Chief.
Own up, be an adult - a leader - and apologize. Stop the spin. I think most American's could relate to a guy that says "look, was I a different person in high school? Yes, I was, and I'm not proud of it. I wish I could apologize directly to the victim, but since I can't, I hope that his family realizes my remorse. There were times that the young Mitt Romney was a bully... bullying wasn't ok then, and it's not ok now. I am truly sorry". There is something very cleansing and, I dunno, tidy about a sincere apology.
If he had apologized - and really meant that he was sorry that he did it - then it would be over. But it isn't over, and what we're left with is a possibly non-reformed bully without remorse, a clean conscious, or (God willing) much shot at the White House.