Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson reacted to questions over his past by the press and criticism lobbed his way by fellow candidate Donald Trump on Friday’s “Sean Hannity Show.”
Carson stated that Politico’s story about his past with West Point was a “total fabrication.” Carson said that it while it “may well be true” that he writes about dining with Gen. William Westmoreland in his book, what he has said is that his “rapid rise” within ROTC resulted in “lots of invitations,” and that he knows Westmoreland was involved in one of them.
Carson continued, “I remember very specifically that because of my rapid rise, I was told that they could get me into West Point, and I would never have to pay a penny. And I was very flattered by that, but I said, ‘I want to become a doctor. It’s always been my dream. So, even though I’m very honored, thank you,’ I didn’t pursue that.”
He then denied that ever claimed Westmoreland offered him a full scholarship to West Point, and that he ever claimed he applied to West Point.
Carson added that, based on conversations with people in his past, members of the press “are just roaming through everything. They’re absolutely certain there must be a scandal of some type with this guy.”
The discussion then turned to discussions of Carson’s violent past. Carson argued that the stories are simply people from his past who say they don’t recall his violent history, but “the people that they talk to, why would they know about specific, violent, rage incidents that occurred on the spur of the moment?” He further stated that most of the people the media has talked to knew him in high school, and that his last “violent episode” occurred in 9th grade, and “most people knew me after my major transition. And even if they’d known me before my major transition, it only would have been the time when I had a violent outburst.” Carson said that he did try to stab someone, “a relative who does not want to be subjected to the media.”
Carson further accused the press of having an “agenda,” and joked that they’ll be reporting he wet his pants in kindergarten, to “distract people” from real issues. He later argued the press wants to pick candidates, and that such coverage discourages good people who aren’t career politicians. He further stated that the critical reports about him are a combination of his opponents and the media.
Carson was later asked about the criticism that Trump has lobbed his way in the wake of the reports on his past. He responded, “Wow, sounds like he’s pretty worried about me.”
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