UK & World News
Romney Sorry Over High School Bullying
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has apologised over claims he had been among a group of students who bullied a classmate they presumed was gay.
"I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended... obviously, I apologise," the 65-year-old said.
Mr Romney was responding to a Washington Post story that described an incident in 1965 in which the former Massachusetts Governor apparently pinned down a fellow student and attempted to cut his bleached-blonde hair.
According to former classmates named in the article, Mr Romney apparently led the attack against student John Lauber, who was "perpetually teased for his non-conformity and presumed homosexuality".
"I participated in a lot of high jinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far," Mr Romney told Fox News.
But he added that he did not remember the specific incident and did not believe he thought "the fellow was homosexual".
Mr Romney was forced to respond after Barack Obama's declaration of support for gay marriage made homosexual rights a key issue ahead of November's presidential election.
The Republican campaign has already said that gay marriage will be one of the issues they will cite as a key difference between Mr Romney and the incumbent President.
Senior Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie said: "It's an important issue for people and it engenders strong feelings on both sides.
"I think it's important to be respectful in how we talk about our differences, but the fact is that's a significant difference in November."
Mr Romney has said that he believes that marriage "is between an woman and a man" and his stance could win him the support of social conservatives.
But Mr Obama's campaign was quick to attack the Republican in an internet video describing him as wanting to turn "backwards on equality".