While talking with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network at the Republican National Convention, Newt Gingrich demanded that President Obama release his college application, senior paper, and other records. “What I said to the conservative movement is we know so little about this President that it’s perfectly reasonable for conservative activists to ask lots of questions: where’s his senior paper at Columbia? Where’s his application to go to Columbia? All sorts of stuff that we don’t know.” Gingrich claimed, “In some ways we know less about this president than almost any president in modern times.” While Gingrich said Mitt Romney “should get involved in that kind of stuff, it’s perfectly legitimate for conservatives as citizens to raise a whole range of questions about Barack Obama.”
Gingrich’s statements appear to leave the door open for questions about the validity of his birth certificate, which Romney doesn’t seem to have a problem doing, along with conspiracies that Obama received poor grades and was a foreign student.
As FactCheck.org notes, “It would be illegal under federal law (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) for Occidental, Columbia or Harvard Law School to give any former student’s records to reporters or members of the public without that person’s specific, written permission. Obama hasn’t released them, but neither have other presidential candidates released their college records.” Furthermore, his former professor likely lost the only copy of his senior paper, which was about negotiations over nuclear disarmament.