On Tuesday, Politico ran an article with this blaring headline: “Ben Carson’s Godly Riches: He reaped $2 million in fees from Christian groups in 2014 alone. Now he wants their votes.”
The headline, which implies some sort of hypocrisy on Dr. Carson’s part, is belied by the actual content of the article.
“Clearly if you were to read in great detail Politico’s article, they are clearly only admonishing Dr. Carson in their headline and not the true substance of their story,” Armstrong Williams, Dr. Carson’s business manager, tells Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
“The reason being they truly had nothing to report,” Williams notes.
Politico, which is owned by Clinton Foundation donor Robert Allbritton, failed to point out in the article that during that same time period Hillary Clinton charged speaking fees ranging from $200,000 to $325,000, and Bill Clinton charged $250,000 for his average speaking fee. In 2010, Bill Clinton was paid a $500,000 speaking fee by a Russian company. Even former first daughter Chelsea Clinton charged speaking fees of $65,000, well in excess of Dr. Carson’s fees.
In 2014, Dr. Carson’s speaking fees ranged from $12,320 to $48,500.
During roughly the same period of time that Dr. Ben Carson earned $2 million in speaking fees, Bill and Hillary Clinton together earned $25 million in speaking fees.
The actual facts of Dr. Carson’s 2014 speaking engagements reported by Politico do not match the article’s somewhat sensationalist headline.
One fundraiser at which Carson spoke “brought in a net profit of $150,000,” after Carson’s fee was paid, the article reports.
At another fundraiser, the host organization was very pleased with the outcome of Carson’s speaking engagement. “He did a really good job for us in bringing in people who may not have known about HopeWorks,” the group’s executive director Ron Wade told Politico.
“They couldn’t find anything negative or controversial about Dr. Carson’s speaking engagements,” Carson’s business manager Williams says.
When asked about Politico’s failure to report the vastly higher speaking fees charged by Hillary, Bill, and even Chelsea Clinton, Williams is quick to point out Politico’s bias.
“Without a doubt the good Dr. Carson is held to a different standard,” Williams says. “It’s nitpicking by Politico. There’s really nothing negative they can report.”
The Politico bias, Williams argues, is as apparent from the people the authors chose not to interview as it is of those they chose to interview.
“Politico could not find anyone who was not satisfied with Dr. Carson’s speaking engagement. Imagine the many individuals interviewed for the article that were not included, because they had high praise for the good doctor.”
Williams’ comments support the perception that Politico is often a “mouthpiece” for establishment Republicans as well as the Democrat elites. “A lot of these sources Politico used are coming from within the establishment,” he says.
Carson’s strong showing in the polls has had an impact on his rivals for the Republican Presidential nomination, Williams argues. “Republican establishment candidates are very threatened by Dr. Carson,” he tells Breitbart News. “The establishment media consistently are searching for phony reasons to negate his immense popularity,” he adds.
From a strategic perspective, Carson offers something establishment Republicans can’t provide—appeal to disaffected conservative voters.
“Dr. Carson is popular among many conservative Christians and Millennials who did not vote in the last presidential election,” Armstrong says.
Currently, “outsiders” like Dr. Carson, Donald Trump , Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina appear to be gaining traction, while more establishment- oriented candidates appear to be languishing.
“That article is trying to negate the progress and phenomenal gains Dr. Carson is making as an outsider,” Williams says.
The popularity of “outsider” candidates in the Republican Presidential primary field is likely to continue its upward movement in spite of Politico’s transparent and unsuccessful attempts to discredit them.