CNN's Mike Rowe goes viral: President doesn't need a college degree

Story highlights

  • CNN's Mike Rowe disagrees with Howard Dean about degree being required for elected office
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential presidential contender, lacks a college degree
  • Talking about Walker, Dean asked recently, "How well-educated is this guy?"

(CNN)There are but three requirements listed in the Constitution for someone to run for President: Natural born citizen. Thirty-five years old. Must have lived in United States for at least 14 years.

Not listed: College degree.
Yet the educational background of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential presidential contender, has been the subject of much speculation lately.
    "The issue is, how well-educated is this guy?" former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean asked last week on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
    "I worry about people being President of the United States not knowing much about the world and not knowing much about science," said Dean, who sought the Democratic nomination in 2004.
    It didn't take long for Walker, who left Marquette University in the spring of his senior year to start a job with the American Red Cross, to respond to his naysayers.
    "That's the kind of elitist, government knows best, top-down approach we've heard for years," Walker said Tuesday on Fox News.
    Mike Rowe, host of CNN's "Somebody's Gotta Do It," responded to the controversy in a viral Facebook post that has now been shared more than 34,000 times.
    "I don't agree with Howard Dean -- not at all," he writes.
    "I think that making elected office contingent on a college degree is maybe the worst idea I've ever heard."
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    Rowe describes his audition with QVC cable shopping channel. He was asked to talk about a pencil for eight minutes.
    "Sell it. Make me want it. But be yourself. If you can do that for eight minutes, the job is yours," he said he was told.
    He described the pencil. He talked about the pencil's impact on Western civilization. He recalled his experiences with pencils -- from his first book report to his first love letter.
    At the end of eight minutes, Rowe said he was hired on the spot.
    This unconventional audition, he said, was the result of QVC "hitting the reset button" after realizing the company "had a serious recruiting problem."
    "QVC had confused qualifications with competency," he said.
    "I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course for the most people," Rowe went on to say.
    Rowe said he recognizes elected leaders need to offer more insight and knowledge than home shopping hosts, but thinks America might have gone the way of QVC.
    "I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning."
    Rowe, who himself has a communications studies degree from Towson University, said he doesn't think Dean is the real problem, as much as the "many others" who will judge Walker for not finishing college.
    "That's the real problem," he said.