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

    Al Gore, Kerry, and G.W. Bush have their grades posted online. G.W. Bush was the better student of the three. Obama does not have his scores posted because his first presidential act was to seal his records. So much for transparency, eh? Trump's question isn't racist, but what every citizen should have questioned BEFORE voting. I questioned this over two years ago along with his record of voting "present" over "yes" or "no."

    April 28, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. K PA

    My thoughts are that the President Obama has more to take care of at work and for the US then to deal with the child smarts of Donald Trump. (Grow Up) and if Donald Trump is running for President .. I will NOT vote for him. But If there is that chance he does win. He should get his diplomas ready for the showing. Kathy PA

    April 28, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. vbscript2

    While I highly doubt it to be the case for Obama, it is definitely a fact that many gain college admission (and/or scholarships) because of their race. That's simply an indisputable fact acknowledged by university admissions departments in most cases. It isn't racist to state a fact. Thankfully, several states (and even, to some extent, the Supreme Court) have begun cracking down on this 'affirmative action' nonsense and trying to make the admissions process fair to all races. Racism will exist in America as long as we have racist policies like affirmative action. The sooner it goes away, the sooner America will have better race relations.

    April 28, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. yemei

    no doubt! This whole thing is completely shrouded with racism.

    April 28, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. jerseylou

    Alll these Repubicans are PROUD RACIST.

    April 28, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Nurse Lisa

    I think Chump's comments about "THE BLACKS" were telling too. He is a political poseur who will never deign to release his financials because they'd prove his failures and his ego can't abide scrutiny or ridicule. He is a media hog with little truth to discuss and he is getting too much press

    April 28, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. The Dude

    Schieffer is right: Trump is an ignorant racist. He is doing more damage to the GOP than Nixon did. America deserves better than this. Stop the madness and boycott the sponsors of Trump's ridiculous TV show. Don't patronize his businesses. Vote with your pocketbook.

    April 28, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. rusty155

    Donald Trump I bet President Obama Is a lot smarter than you are. I bet your IQ Isn't any were near his.Donald trump you just a RACIST fool with a loud mouth and no brain. The only thing you do best Is LIE and file for Bankrupt.

    April 28, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Grady

    Please tell Donald Trump to shove it where the sun don't shine.

    April 28, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Hannah

    How Trump got into Wharton business school? Money? What did they teach him? Obviously business tricks only, no ethics. That is why he is still a "billionaire" even after filing for bankruptcy FOUR times! Let me see Trump's trsnacript from his high school and college days. DId he even graduate? Unless I see them both, my doubt would not go away. Oh, another thing. Unless I see his long form of birth certificate, I would not believe that he is a U.S. born citizen. He looks like he was born in Russia. I am becoming like birthers, sadly. My mind is poisoned by birthers!!

    April 28, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Former Republican, but never again!

    Of course racism is at the core of the birther, and now, school records BS. The Republicans are dangerous and should be challenged on their core beliefs.

    April 28, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. annie s

    Trump is a racist publicity hound. I don't really care how the President got into Columbia and Harvard – not only is his intelligence apparent every time he speaks, we know he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and was president of the Harvard Law Review. Here's a hint, Trump – neither of those honors is awarded to dummies.

    April 28, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Blow that bigotted dogwhistle long enough guys and you might find yourself face to face with a very bigand angry dog you weren't intending to confront.

    April 28, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. 26_third_street

    I'll debate his intelligence. Obama has made a tremendeous number of really really dumb decisions and comments. You cannot ignore this fact.

    April 28, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. JLA

    VERY ugly statements by Trump that smack very heavily of racism. There are people whose parents are wealthy and who are alumni of Ivy League schools. Then there are people who come from poor or middle class families whose parents went to less prestigious colleges if they went at all and for whom it will be a struggle to afford to even go to college. Our President came from a middle class family and managed to attend a prestigious Ivy League school. People who do that do it on MERIT alone. There are plenty of excellent students vying to get into these schools. You have to have high academic marks. The only ones who manage to get admitted with mediocre academic records are those mentioned above whose parents (and often grandparents too) are alumni who make large donations to the school. They will make an exception for those people (see George W. Bush who was admitted despite poor grades due to family connections). President Obama is like many of us. He did not have wealthy, connected family members so he had to rely on himself and preform at the highest levels. And, no, simply being black does not get you into Ivy League schools, Mr. Trump. Trump should be ashamed - he looks like a racist fool.

    April 28, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Janie

    Trump is using the media for free advertising for his reality show and the finale coming up. Doesn't anybody get that?
    How many times does he mention his reality show in his interviews? Boycott his show and write his sponsor's and tell them you will not buy their products as long as they are endorsing an egomaniac.

    April 28, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Jean

    I want to see Donald Trumps wife "green card", her birth certificate and her school records. I also want to know if Donald trumps hair is real, implants, or a toupee.

    Hey, while we're at his first wife a US citizen, If not is she here illegally?

    April 28, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Tim

    No, really, it will show the pattern. He regularly get's passes that other's wouldn't. He wasn't qualified to be president and no one questioned him about it. He wasn't qualified to get into Harvard and no one has questioned him about it.

    It's quite simple, the media is in the bag for him.

    April 28, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. mama panda

    Schieffer is right. To my knowledge, nobody has ever asked any other president or would-be president to produce academic records from decades ago - let alone a "long form" birth certificate. I'm getting really, really angry about this outrage - as all Americans should be.

    What upholds this country, patriotism or racism? It's not the latter, and no, they aren't mutually compatible.

    April 28, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Joe

    Same old same old.. Race care... Blame Bush.. Race card... playbeeok stuff for Dems...

    April 28, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Tim

    It's not code for anything. It's straight up telling him that he's not very smart, as in, you know, stupid.

    April 28, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. vic

    Trump has sunk to the lowest level in the history of American Politics. No president has every been asked for his birth certificate, his school records, his religious beliefs..... He is the last man in America I would want to see as president.

    April 28, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. skarphace

    CNN: ignore Trump. Stop reporting on him. The more attention he gets, the more crazy he gets for attention. Let the crazy right-wingers give him attention. The rest of us have heard all we need to about this pompous blowhard.

    April 28, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Lynne

    Thank you Bob Schieffer for your comment about Trump's racist innuendo. It's about time someone in the MSM called out Trump for what he is. And that goes for the rest of the Republican party as well.

    April 28, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Canuck

    I am astonished at how little respect Trump has for the President of his country.

    April 28, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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