GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is taking a page from American naval history.
“Your message to your followers and even the people who on the Republican establishment side who oppose you is that, like John Paul Jones, you have not yet begun to fight ?” Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon, a former naval officer, asked Carson on Sirius XM Radio’s Breitbart News Saturday.
“Absolutely. There’s no give up here,” Carson told Bannon.
“I’m going to be asking people to use their logic and common sense. Would someone like myself be able to do the things that I have been done if I just had a milquetoast life?” Carson asked rhetorically. “I don’t think so,” he responded.
Bannon asked Carson if “CNN going after you when you were 14 years old and then Politico spending all this time about your involvement in Junior ROTC when you were 17 is just randomly occurring?”
“I’m not sure they’re all coordinated, except I believe they all have the same agenda, I believe they’re all extraordinarily concerned, particularly having seen the recent poll numbers that show me beating Hillary [Clinton] fairly substantially,” Carson said.
“I think many of them have their ideology that drives everything they do,” he pointed out.
Carson made it clear that he’s going on the offensive to counter the recent onslaught of media attacks.
“What I’m going to have to do is think seriously about what kind of example I set, because this is really a test to see whether somebody who is not part of political class can succeed and can prevail over all the forces that will do everything they can to keep you out,” Carson added.
“I’m not by any stretch going to give up. Every place I go, you know, the public comes up to me and they say ‘Don’t you dare give up. Don’t let those people get to you. We love you. We believe you. We’ve got your back.’ That’s all I hear all day long when I’m in public,” Carson said.
“So there’s no way I’m going to let people down. But by the same token I don’t want to allow the media to dictate what we’re talking about all the time. Because if you allow that, every day there will always be something. You’ll always be on the defensive, and you will never get the opportunity to address the actual issues,” the retired brain surgeon added.
Carson then provided some insights into his strategy.
“I’ll punch back gently, and then say ‘Are there any important things you would like to talk about?’,” Carson told Bannon.
“I may say something like, ‘let’s talk about that after you investigate the academic records of all the Democrats who are leading this nation right now,’ ” Carson said.
“I can spend all my time every day answering your questions about what I did when I was 14 or 13 or 12… or we can talk about about ISIS, we can talk about the global jihad movement, we can talk about the financial infrastructure of this nation which is about to collapse under debt. We can talk about the educational system that is the foundation of our greatness,” Carson explained.
“Or would you rather to just continue to talk about these [personal] things?” Carson challenged the progressives in the media.
“Why is it an independent, self-reliant, self-disciplined black man is viewed as such an existential threat to the media class and their partners on the progressive left?” Bannon asked.
“It doesn’t fit the progressive narrative of needing to be dependent on others. And also, because I’m a person of faith that doesn’t fit their narrative, either,” Carson answered.
“I fully understood when I started this I would be the object of their ire big time. I’ve faced things that are much tougher than them before, believe me,” Carson noted.
Carson elaborated on those tougher challenges.
“I look at some of the surgical cases that I’ve had that were thought to be impossible. In some of those cases the amount of stress and turmoil were, massively more than anything the media proposes. I remember two weeks ago when I went on The View and Joy Behar said are you frightened dealing with these little dilemmas. I said, ‘Are you kidding me? I know what real anxiety is, and this is not even close!’” Carson said, laughing.
Carson scoffed at claims by Hillary Clinton that she’s the most vetted politician in American history.
“Do you believe that they [Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] have been vetted to the degree you are being vetted?” Bannon asked.
“Not even close! And they’ve got some major issues,” Carson answered.
“They’re not some little rinky dink things that they’re dealing with with me, I mean these are major issues. I know they’ve been hoping beyond hope they could find a big scandal in my life… ‘This guy’s been working in hospitals for 36 years he’s got to have had an affair with a nurse’ [they’re hoping]” Carson said.
“They’re going to be disappointed. They’re just not going to find it,” he added emphatically.
Carson also said it is fair to subject Obama and Clinton and all the Democratic leaders to the same vetting process to which he’s been subjected.
“If we’re going to put Ben Carson’s 14th year in a microscrope [should we] maybe we go put Barack Obama’s 14th year in a microscope?” Bannon asked.
“Yes I think it’s very fair. I think that is the solution… let’s get to the bottom of why his college records are sealed. Can you imagine if my college records were sealed? They would be going ballistic,” Carson concluded.
You can listen to the full interview here: