Newt says conservatives should press for Obama college records

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Daily Caller that conservatives should press President Barack Obama to release his college academic records.

“I think every Obama request for transparency should be met with ‘do we get to see your senior paper at Columbia?’” Gingrich said when asked about the topic during an interview with reporters at The Daily Caller on Friday.

“I think the movement ought to be beating him up every morning,” Gingrich said.

Obama’s campaign has made a major issue out of calling on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release more copies of his tax returns. Some conservatives have responded by bringing up the fact that Obama’s academic records are sealed.

Asked about the debate among conservatives about whether they should focus on unanswered questions about Obama’s past — from questions about Obama’s former controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright to his college transcripts — Gingrich said, “I think the movement should ask every question it wants to.”

Romney, however, should stay focused on the big themes of the race, he said. “I think Romney should focus on a handful of very, very big choices.”

It was recently revealed in a book by author Ed Klein that Wright claims a close friend of Obama tried offering him money in return for him to stay silent during the 2008 race. While the revelation got some play in the press, it didn’t garner attention for very long.

Asked if conservatives should press that issue, Gingrich said: “I think the conservative movement is large enough and has enough blogs, outlets, radio talk show hosts, et cetera, that it can ask everything.”

He argued that Romney needs to make this election a “big choice” for voters.

“I think that the bigger the choice in the election, the more trouble Obama’s in,” Gingrich said. “The smaller the choice, the more likely he is to get re-elected. And I think Romney’s got to draw a big choice election for us to win this fall.”

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