Calls for Obama's academic records blasted as 'nonsense'
April 28th, 2011
02:33 PM ET
9 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. rhumba

    President Obama was actually quite brilliant in the timing of the release of his original birth certificate. By settling this "dispute," he's forcing them to pull out their super crazy stuff. Trump took the bait right away by questioning the legitimacy of his education. It's time to let Trump self-destruct. I suggest that everyone boycott his show and boycott the advertisers of his show. I'm thinking that Trump's biggest income if from his show right now since the real estate market is in the pit.

    April 28, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. johnmccain

    Boycott Trump's businesses. See what happened with Glen Beck. Stupidity backfired.

    April 28, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Independent In Albany

    @ Howard

    Typical lack of intelligence seem by your peers to the right of conservatism, which is EXACTLY where facisim can be found. The words in you post describe your ignorant talk show gods to a tee.

    April 28, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Jaywing

    Thank you, Bob Schieffer, for giving voice to what so many of us have been saying for these past 2 and a half years. The only thing driving this entire stupid, senseless, useless argument is the fact that some racist, bigoted people can not handle a black man in the white house. These 'birthers' are narrow-minded, developmentally-challenged, individuals who resemble pouty-mouthed teenagers who won't admit they are wrong, even when presented with the facts that their childish, twisted behavior is based on a selfish, unjustifiable illusion in search of a cause. By the way, did you hear Donald Trump, who's been whining that American jobs are being taken by the Chinese, actually puts his brand on - OMG - things made in CHINA? In other words, the man is a complete fraud. And the 'birthers' believe anything this bloated liar has to say? Really?

    April 28, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Carolanne

    "the GOP far right base will be enamored with conspiracy theories." When has this NOT been the status of the far right? When have they not hated anyone that did not look like them? Nationalists? Really? African Americans can't be nationalists? Asian Americans can't be nationalists? etc etc. A closer examine at the far right, and you will see true racism.

    April 28, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Josh

    What other President has been asked for his academic record? Maybe we should've had George W Bush give out his.........

    April 28, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Canadian Jim

    How about a little bit of revelation about Trump – or is CNN afraid of him?

    April 28, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Jimmy D.

    Amazingly someone is willing to call this attack what it is really is :Racism.. Never during the prior administration, nor the Clinton administration, was there ever any questions regarding either presidents' academia with regard to access. Clinton was a Rhode Scholar, who admited to smoking pot. GWB was an admitted partier, who drank, snorted and smoked pot, and stumbled his way into Yale with the help of his parents. Only to achieve nothing higher than a "C average". Now we have a president, who's academic record and access to Columbia and Harvard are being questioned, because of his admitted sub-par performance in High School. Really? After finishing in the top 10% of his Harvard class, and being elected by the student body as President of the Harvard Law Review. Come on! Are people really that oblivious to the racist attitude? Particularly, from someone (Trump) who says, "I get along well with the Blacks!" I agree with the President, when he said, "This is not a reality show, it's a serious moment for our country."

    April 28, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. radioactive

    hey howard.....think what life in the usa would look like if palin was there(lol) Open your eyes and get real. Enough of your childish remarks tah make no sense at all. The USA is a laughing stock what with people like you, trumps, palins, becks, fox, tea party nuts all running around with your insults and paranoia.

    April 28, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. TJ

    "That's just code for saying he got into law school because he's black," Schieffer said on the CBS Evening News Wednesday.

    Well, if the shoe fits! Its not racist, it very well could be true. Colleges do that to get diversity points. Its a lot easier to get into college if you are black or in his case, half black.

    April 28, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. living in america

    Does Trump want to know if the Preseident is wearing Fruit of the Loom or Hanes underwear today? Or does he want to know if he uses Colgate or Closeup toothpaste? Or does the President like Charmin over Cottenelle toilet paper? Trump we all wanna see the rake you use to comb Chester the Chipmunk on her head everyday. I bet Home Depot got them in the lawn and garden section next to the grass blowers machine. Because that all you are is a lot of hot air.

    April 28, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Paul1st

    Schieffer is correct to challenge the motivation of Trump and others who continue to insist that Obama do more than any other elected official in history to justify his qualifications to be President. Trump plays off of the personal discomfort that some people have with Obama's status by providing (dubious) justifications for that discomfort. Ultimately, that is discrimination. As far as the issue of Obama's academic records, he has admitted that he was not a stellar student going into college, but there is no denying that used his opportunity to excel above and beyond most of the otherwise privileged students that Trump implies were more deserving.

    April 28, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Tom

    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.

    April 28, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. annette

    the donald is not going to quit bashing/pressuring obama. i agree with Janell. i knew that once the birth certificate was made public to the donald that he would find something else. reminds me of sarah palin regarding bill ayres. that is all she talked about. i do not take donalds word on any topic. he did the people wrong in atlantic city when he started putting up his hotels by promising hope to them and then failed them. i would not want a racist, mob dealer, crooked businessman into my whitehouse.

    April 28, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. jokerster

    Hey Trump, President Obama showed you his birth certificate, NOW you are suppose to show your MONEY report or TAX form....that is what you said....Where is it???? NO RESPECT for TRUMP at all....TIME to put him of the shelf and STOP reporting his every move and everytime he opens his MOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CNN make it OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Indiana Voter

    If you actually pay attention, you will see that Bob scheaffer is the one who brought or said anything about racism up. It is always the Democrats and liberals who want it to be about race. I think most people see that Liberals and Democrats are the racists more than anyone.

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Anon

    Trump reminds me of a sleazy used car salesman.

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. dz

    Howard, I disagree with you. No one questioned the birth certificates of Clinton, either Bush, or Reagan. No one questioned whether or not they had the grades to get into the schools they went to, not even George W. (Who isn't exactly known for being a scholar). Reagan was an actor before he was president, and no one questioned whether he were qualified to hold his position. Now that Obama has shut down the birther conspiracy, Trump has got to come up with some other way to disparage the president. He's reluctant to show his financial records as he promised, and is trying to deflect the attention. It's just ridiculous really. And you know what, so what if he did get a minority scholarship to either school? That's just about paying for the school. It doesn't matter. He would have still had to have decent grades to get one. He graduated, passed the bar exam, and has had a very successful career. So successful that he is now president. Oh..and if we're going to make academics a qualification for president, Sarah Palin should have been cast out a long time ago. Did she ever actually graduate from any of the 5 colleges she attended?

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Robert

    Hey, Hairpiece, how about you release your tax returns now instead.

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Its All So Goofy

    Funny how the SAME people demanding Obama's records were perfectly content with a career C-student for TWO terms, who only got into Yale as a LEGACY (affirmative action for the rich, white, and mediocre).

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. cryUncle

    Of course it's racist. Sadly,Trump represents a segment of our society that simply cannot believe that a person of color can be smarter and more accomplished than they are. And our country is poorer for that.

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. zxasxz46

    "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."

    Everyone that opposes Obama is racist, if you say anything or disagree with his policies
    then you are a racist

    April 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. BostonianTheWoodlandsTX


    Now that Obama got away with avoiding transparency, or accountability, by simply insulting, shaming, and ridiculing anybody who has the audacity to question him, he can get away with anything ... and, everybody had better rubber stamp whatever he does, or says, with a smile of approval on their face ... or, Obama ... and his blogging / media 'Brown Shirts" ... will turn them into pariahs. This pompus, arrogant President thinks of himself as above reproach. He and his worshipers simply have to act indignant, or scream Racist, in order to neutralize any and all opposition.


    Let me guess. This is code for that black guy is a little too uppity and he needs to be reminded of his place in American society. In your world, a a smart and intelligent black man is an 'pompous and arrogant' black man. Trust me...I've gone through it personally. You either threatened or scared. Of what, I have no idea. Please tell us.

    Howard,you sound like a very,VERY bitter man, who cannot come to grips with the fact that a black man could be......NO...Smart ? Intelligent ?.........The President of the United States ????

    I think for people like you,it absolutely eats you up everyday to see President Obama as the leader of the free world. I for won am happy. Be miserable. Be VERY miserable Howard. The rest of us will go on with life, and realize the guy is doing as good a job that he can do,given the situation he walked into and the opposition he gets NON STOP from the GOP.

    April 28, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Laurie

    I feel so bad for the President. He is an intelligent, competent leader. To be called out on one thing after another is ignorance beyond words. NBC needs to tell Donald Trump that "he is fired."

    April 28, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Steve

    Following the misguided and mindless approach of the "birthers" and their ilk, perhaps one should start the rumor that Mr. Trump has no brain at all and, therefore, the only way for him to dispel the rumor would be to undergo a lobotomy...can't really trust the authenticity of brain scans and x-ray images ya know!

    April 28, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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