Dr. Ben Carson is pushing back as he faces increasingly tough attacks from the established media, his business manager Armstrong Williams tells Breitbart News’ chairman Steve Bannon.
“We saw it this morning in his interview with CNN,” Williams said, shortly after Carson finished a contentious phone interview with CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota. “He did not shy away; in fact, you could tell he wanted to be in their house this morning, talking to them in their face. That’s where he wanted to be,” Williams said in an interview with Bannon on Breitbart News channel SiriusXM Patriot channel 125.
“This man is a surgeon. He’s surgical; he’s a fighter. Don’t allow his softness, his calmness, and quietness to make people believe that he will not fight, he will not stand up, he does not have the courage,” said Williams, who is Carson’s top aide.
Carson is facing the same media hostility as Donald Trump, Armstrong said, because they are both true political reformers. “We believe that Mr. Trump’s enemies, in terms of those that are against outsiders, are also our enemies… When they attack Mr. Trump, they attack Dr. Carson,” he said.
Mr. Trump and Dr. Carson represent what we would call an American revolution in politics. That’s why people like [MSNBC host] Chris Matthews and others cannot understand the narrative; they cannot understand the rise; that’s why they must ridicule them; dismiss them; question their judgment.
Carson is also getting hit by Politico, which said Nov. 6 that he “fabricated” a story about being offered a slot at the U.S. Army’s West Point’s military academy.
Trump and Carson share almost 50 percent of the GOP’s primary vote, from different yet complementary parts of the GOP’s base. Carson has a strong base among evangelicals, while Trump is strong among populists and nationalist-minded Americans. The GOP’s establishment wing, which consists mostly of low-tax liberals and business executives, comprises only about 25 percent of the primary electorate and is split between Sen. Marco Rubio, and Gov. George Bush.
Carson and Trump have strong public support because “the American people understand them very well, because they speak for the American people, because they too feel the same way,” he said.
In his contentious CNN interview Nov. 6, Carson challenged Camerota’s professional perspective and political attitudes, at one point saying, “No. Again, there you go with sensationalism. That’s what you try to do. You hope somehow that will resonate with people who don’t think for themselves. I’ve got news for you, people are a lot smarter than you think they are, and they know exactly what I’m talking about.”
When Camerota replied, “Dr. Carson, I’m quoting — I’m not even quoting you, I’m playing your words. You are the person who said there are a lot of people who are stupid and without Fox News, we would be Cuba,” Carson fired back:
Are you honestly telling me that you didn’t know what I was talking about when I said that? Are you honestly telling me? If you are, you might fit in that category.
Carson also slammed a CNN article about an investigation into Carson’s poverty-stricken youth that included comments from some people who said they were Carson’s childhood friends.
I saw your article. I didn’t see any elementary school friends there. This is a bunch of lies. That is what it is. This is a bunch of lies, attempting, you know, to say that I’m lying about my history. I think it’s pathetic. And basically what the media does is they try to get you distracted with all of this stuff so that you don’t talk about the things that are important, because we have so many important things.
Williams explained why Carson choose to appear on CNN, despite its pro-Democratic record.
I know many people wonder why Dr. Carson would go on CNN; they’ve been trying to get him on for some time. We booked him, and it was impossible for him to go to a studio, so to compromise, a week ago a compromise was that he would do it via telephone. Since that commitment, these issues have developed about his story, his past, and verifying it, and Dr. Carson honors his word, even though he feels that this is a smear campaign. In no way would he dishonor his word that he was going to go on CNN this morning.
The interview was hostile, according to Armstrong.
That is what Dr. Carson believes, that it is a smear campaign. When you’re running for president of the United States, you’re under severe scrutiny. Do I think it’s unfair? I do think that we should talk about more serious issues, as Dr. Carson does… But I’ll say this to you: Dr. Carson answered those questions this morning; he answered them head on. I don’t think there’s any doubt about his truthfulness and his sincerity.
Carson is going to be more assertive as the campaign continues, Williams said.
I was just so happy the fact he could get upset about something, that he could have fire in the belly… I saw a leader; I saw a fighter; I saw someone with backbone; we saw him stand up to Alyson and say, ‘Well, you may be in that category.’ He interrupted; he just did not a lot himself to sit back as he does in presidential debates and respect the rules and the guidelines and not talk over. I though it was very appropriate this morning, and maybe it could it bode well for him, going forward in the debates next week and for the future.