Donald Trump Is Right to Demand a Vetting of Obama

Why we deserve a look at the President’s college transcripts.

We just came off a month of college campus pep rallies extolling the virtues of taking on thousands of dollars of “low-interest” loan debt in that ultimate quest for a degree. Yet, we know so little about the college experience of the man leading the rallies: President Barack Obama.

So now you’re thinking, “Oh, no Chris. You’re not one of those people, are you?” Or, you’re like me, and find it more than a little peculiar that one of the “greatest intellects” ever to grace the Oval Office has provided not a trace of evidence to back up said greatness.

Columnist and commentator George Will and fellow Mitt Romney supporter Donald Trump got into a bit of a back-and-forth over the holiday weekend. Will wondered aloud why Romney would be caught dead near a guy like Trump who Will suggested was all money and no brains. (My paraphrase, not Will’s actual quote.)

The comments came in response to the question from This Week host Jake Tapper, who wondered why Romney would continue to be seen with Trump if Romney wishes to be “taken seriously.”

Trump, you see, is not a serious man, according to pundits like Tapper and Will. Why? Is it because he hosts a popular TV show? Is it because his every move is over-the-top bluster, bravado and showmanship? The divorces? The bankruptcies? The commercialism?

If those were their reasons for dismissing Trump as “unserious” or not credible, I might see their point. But those things aren’t what draw their ire over Trump.

It’s that he has the brazenness to continue to demand a full vetting of the President of the United States.

“The word is, according to what I’ve read,” said Trump, “that he was a terrible student when he went to Occidental. He then gets into Columbia; he then gets to Harvard. … How do you get into Harvard if you’re not a good student? Now maybe that’s right or maybe it’s wrong, but I don’t know why he doesn’t release his records.”

It’s important to note Romney’s camp isn’t officially veering off their wholly appropriate message of “it’s the economy, stupid.” Romney doesn’t want to challenge the character or history of the President, no matter how valid. Most agree that’s the best strategy for Romney.

But that Romney would dare be seen with Trump have many in a panic because they view this as questioning President Obama by association.

This is where I, like millions of Americans, get pretty irritated. Shouldn’t we want to know our president’s history?

Those of us who were paying close attention to the 2008 campaign sat through the unveiling of Obama’s America-hating preacher of 20 years, his domestic terrorist buddy, his own admission to cocaine and aggressive pot use, and his support for infanticide in the Illinois Senate—and those are just appetizers served up by talk radio and new media.

By and large, the traditional American media just couldn’t bring themselves to vet the man we now call President. You can assign any motives for the dereliction of duty you wish, but by the press’s own admission (see New York Times ombudsman Arthur Brisbane’s April 21st column, “A Hard Look at the President”), they didn’t vet this man.

Now, we’re all supposed to stay quiet and focus on his poor job performance today. Obama’s past and our total lack of access to it are of no consequence or relevance anymore. Even when it comes to something as standard as college transcripts and questioning the proof of his sheer brainpower, we’re to just shut up and take it as sold.

Anyone who suggests or questions that the President may not be the brilliant academic we’ve been told he is will now be dismissed as a “transcripter.” The L.A. Times created this pejorative play on “birther”—the term used for those who believe President Obama’s birthplace is a foreign land, thus disqualifying him from office.

The Times went on to defend the President from the “transcripters” and claims that Obama may not be as smart as advertised: “That rationale may strike some as a little flimsy, given that Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, taught constitutional law, has two best-selling books to his credit and is, at the moment, leader of the free world.”

So there you have it. He won an election in college, he wrote two books, he taught a college course, and won another couple of elections. No way he’s not smart! And no way could he have done those things but on his own merits. (This would also be an excellent time to point out he’s never managed or created anything but two books about himself, versus years of Romney’s private sector accomplishments, but that’s for another column.)

College kids are constantly being told how important a degree can be when searching for a job. Most job applicants will comply with the employer’s desire to fully vet resume, experience, grades and character.

I never got a job by obfuscating my past and calling my potential boss names for wanting to know more. That’s why I won’t elect to rehire a president who treats his bosses that way.

You can listen to Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210, WPHT, weekdays from 5:30 to 9 a.m., and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @ChrisStigall.

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  • Mark Cofta

    So will you also be asking for the details of R-money’s foreign bank accounts?

    Seriously, your case is ridiculous. Aside from your deliberately vague and provocative language — “infanticide,” “aggressive pot use” (ironic, given pot’s pacifying effects) — anyone who’s been to college knows that grades don’t measure learning and achievement accurately, especially decades later. What one can DO (experience, accomplishments) matters much more than transcripts.

    You apparently want to search for something that can be spun into a damning condemnation (maybe a C- in Intro to Economics? The horror!) while overlooking the many accomplishments of Obama’s first term of cleaning up the Bush mess, contrasted with the company-crushing, “I enjoy firing people” legacy of R-money’s Bain work and his flagrant lies about Obama’s record.

    You emulate, and deserve, Trump. Thanks for the laughs.

  • wendy1

    How ’bout we fact check everything you write? How ’bout we finally get to see all GWB’s National Guard records? Or his college transcripts?

    I don’t even like Obama, but I can safely say that compared to him, you and most Americans are idiots.

    from cnn: After researching and analyzing the issue, two independent fact-checking groups, Politifact and both determined it’s not true to claim Obama supported legislation that said “any child born prematurely … can be killed.” In fact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact rated the Santorum’s assertion “Pants on fire” — its rating that a statement is “not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.”

    • Jane Yavis

      Chris Stigall and his Merry Band of Stepford Rush Limbaugh Wanna-Be’s gave four of the five Philadelphia Collar Counties to Obama. Facts never get in his way, and if you dare say that he may just pop another gasket and deal with you Later.

  • phal0101

    Trump is a jackass and a blowhard but that’s not the point of the article which I think is a damn good one. It makes a lot of sense to wonder why there’s such a cloud of mystery surrounding this president. Why wouldn’t everyone want to know some answers?

  • phillyabe20

    Take Obama out of the equation for a second. What you are questioning Chris, is the integrity of Harvard, the second highest rated University in the world ( and the University of Chicago, the 8th highest rated University in the world ( Granted rankings are subjective, so let’s just say two of the top institutions of higher learning in the United States are putting there centuries of reputation on the line as one graduated Obama and the other allowed him to teach there.

    Do you recognize how silly that sounds?

    This is decades before Obama has run for any post outside of community office, yet these two schools would allow this grand lie to be perpetuated?

    • Jane Yavis

      Chris is like his pal Dom Giordano,,,,,Still Angry they didn’t get the eighth grade award, and frankly neither have matured past that point.

  • Jane Yavis

    Chris, when you have time, give Donnie Pluggs a call and thank him for delivering Obama too.