Admits receiving an atomic wedgie that turned him into bully
Mitt Romney is fighting back against his political attackers saying he became a bully only after being a victim of bullying himself. Romney says he felt he had to address the stories being reported about his days of bullying while attending the Cranbrook School.
In a rare and candid interview by Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Thursday evening, Romney came close to crying as he revealed the torture he endured at the hands of his classmates.
"I wasn't as popular as you think," said Romney, head held down and not looking at anyone in particular. "Oh, it started out innocently enough, towel snaps in the gym locker room, taunts and teases, calling me names like 'tall handsome guy' and 'rich kid,' it wasn't a fun time."
Romney said that someone was always hoping to take the most popular kid down.
"I was like Quick Draw McGraw, the fastest gun in the west," said Romney. "Everyone wanted to out-shoot me in everything and they couldn't, so they gave me wedgies instead.
Romney claims he got his first wedgie at age 12.
"I was already in trouble because my voice was changing. I remember getting ready to go on stage to read a poem I wrote. My mom and dad were there, other parents, it was a proud moment and just before I went on stage, Jeff Roberts gave me an atomic wedgie. You can pretty well figure out what happened next. It was devastating."
From that day forward, Romney had to constantly watch his back, and that one incident, he says, turned him into the bully he became.
"I was fighting back by being a bully myself. I never let on about the pain I was enduring internally. School kids can be so darned cruel," he told Van Susteren.
"I can't count the number of wedgies I received during high school. Why even at Bain [Bain Capital, private equity firm Romney headed], I received at least a couple wedgies from my colleagues. Seems I'm always looking behind me just to make sure someone else isn't in line ready to take me down again."
A shocked and astonished Greta Van Susteren asked Romney "Why, sir, we had no idea the pain you've gone through. If people only knew the half of the story, they certainly wouldn't be so quick to judge."
Romney nodded his head in agreement. "You know Greta, one need only look at the way I walk to understand just how painful my prep school days really were."