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. Kirk

    Ok...Now that President Obama has released his birth certificate why has Donald Trump not released his tax returns. Accroding to Mr Trump he agreed that if Pres. Obama releases his birth certificate that he will release his tax returns.

    Also, how can a man (Trump) who has few times filed for bankruptcy (Trump Corporation and other business related to Mr. Trump) and has had several divorces and marriges get so much attention for the American public and say that they would like to run for President or are considering it?

    How many people have lost money based on his bankruptcy fillings. Is that what he would also do with the American economy as well? Just a question....

    April 28, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. TIGER2

    The Donald Trump circus was funny for a while, but now I'm failing to find the humor. He needs to sit down and shut up before he wears out his welcome.

    April 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. Dave IL

    Schieffer launches the classic Obama supporter defense; if you criticize Obama it must be based on racism rather than reason. And of course it's a one way street. Any thing Obama's religious mentors such as Rev. Wright or Rev. Smith say about whites is OK and not racist.

    April 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Nodack

    Are you freaking kidding me? Trump just keeps opening his mouth and stupid stuff comes out.

    April 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. NameEbw

    Where are the duck's tax documents, and all financial papers related to his several bankruptcies...?

    April 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. karynn

    Donald Trump is a buffoon. I guess we should have known this was coming....

    April 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. Anon

    Every time Trump speaks I lose a little bit more respect for him...which shouldn't even be possible considering I didn't ever have very much respect for the man.

    April 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Thomas

    So now Trump is reduced to making up his own lies about the President (now that the "birther" lie has been put to rest) and treats that lie as gospel so that he can remain in the spotlight. If President Obama WERE to reveal his academic record, Trump would then preen for the cameras and crow about how he "forced the President to do what he wanted." If Obama ignores this idiotic claim (as well he should), Trump will continue to call him out on his supposed poor grades and "token black student" status and AGAIN Trump remains in front of the cameras.

    Trump is lucky Obama is a better man than he is, otherwise The Donald could expect to spend the next six years in court as the IRS crawls through every single business deal he ever did....including his association with known terrorist, Mohamar Gadhaffi.

    April 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. RS

    Intelligence does not equal good president. If you could look up this premise in a dictionary, Obama's face would define its definition.

    April 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. stevetall

    I'd like to see The Donald's transcript. And the list of bankruptcies, swindels, and gross business conduct that he's been involved in. What a chump!.

    April 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. gt

    this is nonsense.... if you want change there are plenty of reason...but not place of birth or collge grades... sounds like they just dont like his skin pigmentation to me...

    April 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Realistic

    Lets say President Obama did get into these Ivy Leagues Unv because hes black. Ok, so what? Did his color get him elected to be president of the Harvard law Review? Doubt it very much....Did his color help Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School ? Doubt it...So this show me your papers, show me your grades are for people who have no common sense. President Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, was President of the Harvard Law Review and now is the president of the USA. One does not achieve these honors by being a C+ student or a bad student. These honors should not be cast away or ridiculed because of political affliation and any parent would be proud if their sons or daughter got such honors. Any senator would use these same honors to run on and any president would be proud of. We should be proud that in this country, anyone can through hard work and dedication achieve the same thing no matter the poltical affliation they prefer. Color, family name will only get you so far, the rest is obtained through hard work and dedication.

    Donald Trumps resumes includes:
    Trump's business bankruptcies include the Taj Mahal casino (1991), and the Trump Plaza Hotel (1992), in both cases losing half his stake in the reorganizations. Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for Chapter 11 in 2009, and in 2008 his Trump International Tower in Chicago defaulted on a $40 million loan.

    Which resume is more impressive?

    April 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Laverne

    I am so proud to call Barack Obama my president and even more proud of the fact he has more class and integrity than these mean spirited folk who want his head on a platter ever could have. The world is watching how America is treating President Obama, the America who claimed justice, equality and freedom for all, the America who said we are ashamed of our past and how we treated black people. This is so surreal and mindboggling, I knew his presidency would be hard, but never to this extent. These are sad days for America and we ALL lose here!

    April 28, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Leslie

    Trump makes one realize there is no shortage of idiots spouting bigotry.

    April 28, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. chris

    Thank you Valerie Jarrett, finally someone out the Adminstration is able to call this exactly what it is!!! Racism pure and simple!!! I can't even believe Trump would even want to compare the Presidents intelligence to his!! The President has shown great restraint in handling this issue. Because this entire issue is basically, no diffrent than the black slaves of the past having to justify that he/or she was free by showing a piece of paper given by his former slave owner!!

    April 28, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. michael

    Why did Trump never question how someone like Bush, who bankrupt a company and nearly failed college became President. Because they're both white.

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

    But when Maureen Dowd says this about Clarence Thomas, there's no racism there, right? This is why affirmative action is a BAD thing.

    April 28, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Sam

    Here's a deal for you Trump. Produce your business and financial records...all of them. Include every piece of paper relating to your multiple bankruptcies. Until and unless you express a willingness to and actually do release the aforementioned records, shut your piehole and go fire one of those "apprentices" who had to swallow any semblance of pride and dignity he or she had left just to work for and take abuse from such an unprincipled, unscrupulous, poor excuse for a human as yourself.

    April 28, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. bertha59

    Trump has a brain tumor...that is the only explanation for his insaness.

    April 28, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. HELENA

    What's next? Does he have to prove he's black?

    April 28, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Secularosity

    He's the first president to be accused of non-citizenship. First president to be called a liar during the State of the Union. First president where parents took their kids out of school to avoid them hearing him speak. First president to have complete opposition to ALL of his proposals, and during a crisis no less. But it's not racist. Yeah, sure.

    April 28, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. peace

    satan is alive and well just listen to rush,trump, sara. bachman,gop and the teanuts. oh yea satan is alive and well.

    April 28, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Rick in AZ

    "Word is"?? Who's word Trump? Once again you resort to hearsay and won't even name your "sources". Trump is nothing but a New York street hustler. When are you going to release your financial records? You did say you would as soon as Pres Obama released his "long form" Birth Certificate. We're waiting Donald.

    April 28, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Erik

    This is nonsense. W got into Yale, and we know he's fairly thin mentally.

    April 28, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Bob in PA

    Has Valerie Jarrett seen any of his college records ? I know of no American citizen that has seen a copy of his college transcripts since he announced his run for office. I'm almost 50 too, but I know darned well everyone would question my educational background.

    April 28, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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