Did you know that real estate tycoon/reality star/presidential candidate Donald Trump went to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania? How could you not. He’s been name-dropping Wharton in practically every interview and speech he’s done while running for the Republican presidential nomination.
During an interview with Chuck Todd on Sunday morning’s episode of Meet the Press, Trump explained that he’s proud of the school and that it spawned “some of the greatest business minds” in the world.
People “know it’s a great business school,” said Trump who spent two years as an undergraduate at Wharton after transferring from Fordham. “We need business genius in this country. We need it.”
He argues that politics plays a role in why he doesn’t get respect for his Wharton accomplishments.
“Look, if I were a liberal Democrat, people would say I’m the super genius of all time. The super genius of all time,” he said. “If you’re a conservative Republican, you’ve gotta fight for your life. It’s really an amazing thing.”
Then Trump used his Wharton-earned business acumen to go after one of his favorite targets: Mexico.
“We can’t have continuously bad trade deals with China, with Japan, with Mexico — Mexico is killing us,” said Trump.
When pressed for more explanation considering that Mexicans are still flocking to the United States and the peso is weak vs. the U.S. dollar, Trump said:
“Ford is building a $2.5 billion plant. Many other companies are building big plants there. Nabisco just announced it’s moving out of Chicago and into Mexico,” said Trump. “Look at what happened to New England and all the places in New Hampshire. Everybody’s moving to Mexico.”
Although Trump said he was a “really good student” at Wharton, some publications have their doubts. (They likely looked into it due to his claims that President Barack Obama was a “terrible student.”) The New York Daily News published an article last month where fellow classmates said he was no special student.
“He was not first in the class. He was not known on campus for any reason at all,” a classmate told the Daily News.
Meanwhile, Salon reminds us that Trump did not earn a prestigious Wharton MBA.
“An examination of Trump’s own academic record yields a distinctly unflattering picture of the celebrity businessman,” Salon writes. “Among other things, Trump has allowed the media to report for years that he graduated first in his class at Wharton, despite strong evidence that this is not true and indications that he was, in fact, an undistinguished student.”