Calls for Obama's academic records blasted as 'nonsense'
April 28th, 2011
02:33 PM ET
11 years ago

Calls for Obama's academic records blasted as 'nonsense'

Washington (CNN) - Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett referred to calls for the president to release his academic records as "nonsense" Thursday.

The suggested disclosure came Wednesday from real estate mogul Donald Trump after the so-called "birther" debate caused the president to release the long-form version of his birth certificate.

Standing on a tarmac Wednesday in New Hampshire, Trump said "word is he (Obama) wasn't a very good student."

"I'd like to know how does he get into Harvard, how does he get into Columbia if he isn't a very good student," Trump said.

But Jarrett dismissed the remark Thursday.

"We know this is nonsense," Jarrett said on SiriusXM Radio's The Joe Madison Show. "He's almost 50 years old and he's president of the United States and I don't think anybody would debate his intelligence and so now we need to get serious."

Jarrett's foray into the conversation follows CBS anchor Bob Schieffer's accusation that Trump's comments are racist.

"That's just code for saying he got into law school because he's black," Schieffer said on the CBS Evening News Wednesday. "This is an ugly strain of racism that's running through this whole thing."

Filed under: Donald Trump • President Obama • Valerie Jarrett
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Assannihilator

    It's not "Trump's 'racist' comments" CNN, it's "Trump's racist comments". I'm actually pretty offended by this guy and I've got a very wide tolerance for racist jokes from white friends and such because it builds rapport and eventual understanding. Even if I never move past the 'one of the good ones' category, they'll at least know there are 'good ones'. Donald Trump is just a racist windbag and he needs to get off television and go back to losing his dead father's money.

    April 28, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Steve

    Howard, this is a non-issue. A sliver of Americans of both stripes have a long history of acting loony when it comes to leaders they dislike or disagree with. You paint him as a Mubarak/Gadhafi/Hussein clone, and that is purely outlandish and brainless. If you have proof that he is illegitimate constitutionally, bring it. If you don't, shut it. Neither you nor Trump nor Taitz has any ground to stand on. You dislike his philosophies and fear his "otherness," and the best you can do is shriek about an apparition of conspiracy and injustice. It is certifiable and sad.

    April 28, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If ANYONE in the GOP leadership had any type of COJONES they would come out and denounce this vulgar, disrespectful, and blatantly racist treatment of the POTUS. But I guess that would necessitate the GOP actually HAVING LEADERSHIP.

    April 28, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Dan

    How about a libel suit against this loon Trump, equal to his net worth? What an ass. I wonder which Klavern he belongs to.

    April 28, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Me

    Shut up, Trump. Just shut up. You've made a fool of yourself all because of your enormous ego. You're nothing but a flim-flammer in an expensive suit. You and that scammer Kevin Trudeau are cut of the same cloth. This is the highest office in the land. Not a flipping celebrity game show. Just shut up.

    April 28, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Ins1te

    First it was the "long firm" birth certificate. Now it's his academic records. What's next? What other president in history has been subjected to these ridiculous demands?

    April 28, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. numbnut

    I think Trump says this stuff because he knows that repubs love it, and he can get their votes by "being on their side".

    April 28, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Duane

    Veteran Bob Schieffer's accusation that Trump's comments are racist a right on. Trump has taken a tactic from the Nazis – Tell the big lie often enough and people will believe it.

    April 28, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. T-Bone

    If any President needed their academic record check was bush!

    April 28, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Robert

    How about the Hairpiece releases his tax returns instead.

    April 28, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    if you look at some of the responses by the regualr Obama-haters that post here you can see the fact that NOTHING has changed. If he never showed the certificate he had something to hide, he shows it and that is not good enough. And somehow they can't (or don't want to) make the connection that the first non white president has not only been asked to PROVE he is an American but also now PROVE he even got into an Ivy school. But when this is pointed out the right goes back to their whine "every time you are critical of Obama you're a racists". This is what you get when you deal with the not so bright.

    April 28, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Boo-Yah

    Wow... Howard... You are truly a confused person. Do all Intelligent people come off as pompous to you? I see our President as a genuine and intelligent person. What on earth do you think he has "gotten away with?" Were you at all concerned with all the illlegal cr@p that Bush & Chaney got away with?!?! How pathetic that you choose to be angry with President Obama for his attempt to ignore a group of irrational crazies and who preferred instead to focus on the real important issues at hand.
    I know you will never understand what I am talking about. Your mind is closed.

    But ask yourself... if everyone got jobs tomorrow, would you be able to give him any credit for it? I'm betting not. But you definitely blame him for the high unemployment now, right?

    You have simple, blind hate and I feel sorry for you and the rest of us who have to deal with people like you.

    April 28, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Peter

    Angus001 wrote: "Ahhhh.... There it is.... "racism" finally made it way in to the liberal's defense again. The liberals have made the term "racism" mean nothing. It is so sad that in a few years the libs have eroded so mush of what Blacks in America have achieved over the past 50 years.">>>>>>THIS WAS SAID BY CBS' BOB SCHIEFFER WHO IS A WELL KNOWN CONSERVATIVE, YOU BIRD BRAIN!

    April 28, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "I would like to see a psych eval for every Republican Senator and Congressman as well as an IQ test"

    Just pick up DSM-IV and I'm sure you can figure it out based on their behavior and statements over the past couple years...heck, even based on the historical record for the past 2 decades. They are moderately intelligent narcissistic sociopaths. A few of them may also qualify as exhibitting symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Almost anything is justified in their minds so long as it serves their purpose of gaining them personal power, riches and esteem, and the very wealthy and corporations have painted them a yellow brick road to those goals....paved with middle-class skulls.

    April 28, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Nellie Bly

    I'll vote for Gary Busey before I'll vote for Donald Trump. Unless they're on the same ticket, of course because Trump called Busey a genius, he might have him as a running mate.

    Snake oil salesman.

    April 28, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. tstickrod

    I would like for the president to come out and say what he really is thinking, "Just put me in a room with this guy for 10 minutes and we'll get this sorted out; one way or another." Trump needs to be put in his place. I hope he does get the republican nomination (I doubt he will) because I would love a debate between him and Obama. It would be comical.

    April 28, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. smk

    In response to Howard- what other president/candidate has had to show his birth certificate? Certainly not John McCain who was born in Panama...nor did Gerald Ford, who was born Lesley Lynch and then legally adopted by his step-father and had his name changed. I don't recall any candidate or President receiving this level of scrutiny over his birth certificate.

    What President has had to release their academic records? And so what if they are not "stellar" ? John McCain finished nearly at the very bottom at the Naval Academy, George W. Bush was clearly not the brightest crayon in the box, but I don't recall people raising a hissy about how he got into Yale...I will tell you how he got into Yale, because his Dad and Grandpa went to Yale and the Bush family was rich, connected and white. There has always been "affirmative action" the thing is before the mid-1960s affirmative action benefited people who were white, rich, well-connected Ivy legacies, Protestant and male. Now we have people who are black, brown, female, poor, middle-class and possibly not Christians who get into good schools and get into positions of power.

    That frightens and confuses some people who are fear based individuals- maybe because of race, jealousy, entitlement. I really don't know why, but its unfair and ugly... and its what's happening now.

    April 28, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. lloyd roberts

    I wonder why Trump didn't request G.W. Bush's academic records. How is it possible that this mental midget, (Bush), with the I.Q. of a fence post could get into Princeton and then Harvard business school. Could it have been daddy Bush that made it happen like every failure in his life, i.e., Texas Rangers, The Presidency

    April 28, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Bruce

    Sure, Trump is takes repsonsibility for his business liabilities...He's filed Chapter 11 (at least twice that I'm aware) in each case restructuring hundreds of millions of dollars in debt- repaying some creditors less than $.18 on the dollar. America certainly needs a leader, but he is certainly not what Americans wants or need. His arrogance and Napolean complex will ultimately be his permanent downfall...hopefully not at the expense of the American people.

    April 28, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC


    amazing how it was ok to question Bush's intelligence and how he got into Harvard by the libs but it's racist to question that of Obama. From this article, I guess we should assume all you left wingers think GW was smart because he is in his 50's and was President.
    Does Obama have his own web site of hundreds of new words that he added to the English languge?

    April 28, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Bessy

    Okay ! Time to not only boycott the Trump Show but how about the TV Network that continues to show it, AND, all of his sponsers. That will only take a couple of days and he will be history. This idiot has got to see what this nonsense is costing him.

    April 28, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Binah

    Birthers ARE racists. It's not about partisanship, but about some white people being angry that a black man was elected president in a free and fair election. So they attack his legitimacy because being a racist in socially unacceptable. They can't say they don't like a black man in the White House, so they attack his birthright. When that fails, they attack his academic achievement. Birthers, you aren't fooling the majority of us.

    April 28, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. BJ

    Was it racist when everyone questioned Bush and his background? When they called him dumb, etc. etc. etc.

    Every president has their conspiracy theorists (like Bush's truthers). For goodness sakes there is a whole 9-11 Truth movement that includes celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell.

    Sorry if Obama feels he needs to dig down in the trenches with them or is too thin skinned to move on.

    Trump is Obama's Rosie.

    April 28, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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