The story of Romney leading a “prep school posse’’ to cut the student’s dyed blond locks in 1965 has sparked debate across the political world since the Washington Post first reported on it Thursday.
Romney has responded by saying that although he can’t remember the episode involving Lauber, he is sorry if he hurt anyone at Cranbrook, a prestigious prep school in Michigan.
Some political strategists said the incident could hurt Romney at a time when many voters are just beginning to learn about him, and the Obama campaign is working hard to define him as out of touch and insensitive.
The episode also emerged just after President Obama declared his support for gay marriage and the president’s campaign depicted Romney’s opposition to such unions as evidence of intolerance.
“The longer this drags on, the worse off it is for Mitt Romney,’’ said Ford O’Connell, a Republican political strategist who worked on the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008. “He cannot go down these rabbit holes right now because he has not yet fully defined himself for the American voter.’’
Romney’s response - that he can’t remember the episode, but is sorry for any harm he may have caused - “doesn’t make him look good, but it does get this over with quicker,’’ O’Connell said.
Dan Schnur, another Republican political strategist, also praised Romney’s handling of the episode.