Ben Stein: Obama Not That Smart, Nixon a “Genius”

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May 18 2012 5:26 PM

Ben Stein: Obama Not That Smart, Nixon a “Genius”

Ben Stein.
In an interview on Fox's O'Reilly Factor, Ben Stein said he didn't believe President Barack Obama to be very smart--at least not in comparison to President Richard Nixon.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images.

Clear-eyed conservative economist Ben Stein’s money is on President Obama being “not very smart,” at least not in comparison to President Nixon.

On Fox’s O’Reilly Factor, Stein took issue with O’Reilly when the host suggested the president is a smart man.

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“No, I wouldn’t say that,” Stein said. “I mean, he’s not in the same league of presidential genius as Nixon, for example, but he’s smarter than the average bear.”

Considering Stein worked as a speechwriter for Nixon as well as Gerald Ford, perhaps he was displaying a little bias toward the former boss. Obama and Nixon both gained advanced law degrees, and Nixon had a scholarship to go to Harvard just like Obama did—but instead chose Whittier College.

But traditional smarts isn’t a prerequisite for winning. Stein thinks Obama will be victorious over Mitt Romney in 2012 … because of his campaign fundraising prowess. Possibly related: Obama is destroying Romney in the race for campaign contributions from Ivy Leaguers.

Video produced by Dallas Jensen.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.