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Romney attempts to shift focus back to economy

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate talking jobs, not bullying.

Mitt Romney high school bullyEnlarge
Mitt Romney's classmates claim he was the ringleader of an attack on another student. (Marc Piscotty/AFP/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney told factory workers in Charlotte, NC, today he’d “put America back to work” if elected president, his latest attempt to shift the discussion back to the economy and away from bullying and gay marriage.

The likely Republican presidential candidate, Romney spent about 15 minutes on the factory floor at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry outlining his vision for America.

“If I become president, I’m going to cut federal spending. I’m going to take some programs and get rid of them,” he said, the News and Observer reported.

Allegations he bullied a supposedly gay high school classmate have dogged Romney’s campaign team for 48 hours, and coincide with President Obama becoming the first president to support gay marriage.

A Washington Post expose featured several of Romney’s high school friends admitting they helped him cut another student’s hair. 

More from GlobalPost: Obama on gay marriage: political suicide or politics as usual?

There were many stories of Romney’s “sharp edge” and well-documented pranks.

Romney’s campaign manager said the former Massachusetts governor has no memory of the incident, although he did apologize for “dumb things” he did in high school.

“If anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize,” he told Bloomberg.

Romney hopes to keep the media’s focus on economics with a commencement speech on Saturday at Liberty University, The Associated Press said.

The campaign went so far as to release his speech early.

“Although opportunities seem scarce in this economy, it is not for nothing that you have spent this time preparing,” Romney will tell students at the evangelical school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. “America needs your talent and your energy, all the more now that our country’s in a tough spot.”

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120511/romney-attempts-shift-focus-back-economy