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.