GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson sure seems to be taking more than his fair share of abuse on the campaign trail these days. First, it was the liberal media predictably crucifying the black conservative who dared go off the Democrat plantation.
But what’s a bit surprising — and disappointing — is the attacks Carson’s been subject to at the hands of the GOP rival — with whom he’d not long ago enjoyed a demonstrably respectful relationship. Trump last night compared Carson to a child molester and asked “how stupid” Iowa voters can be to “believe that crap”?
It’s clear from the amped-up attacks that Trump is indeed worried about the candidate who most closely trails him in the polls — and resoundingly trumps Trump in the area of likability in particular.
Still, despite Trump’s vociferous, ad hominem attacks on him, Ben Carson isn’t amping up to strike back. Instead, he’s voicing an unexpected response to Trump.
Via Reuters:U.S. presidential candidate Ben Carson recommended praying for rival Donald Trump after the real-estate mogul and television personality, in a 95-minute rant in Iowa, likened him to a child molester, Carson’s business manager said on Friday. “When I spoke with Dr. Carson about this yesterday how we should respond, you know he was so sad about it. He said: “Pray for him.” He feels sorry for him because he really likes Mr. Trump,” Armstrong Williams, who often acts as Carson’s surrogate in the media, told CNN.
“To see him just imploding before our very eyes – it’s just sad to watch,” Williams said.
Speaking in Iowa on Thursday evening, Trump, a leading contender for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election, cast doubt on Carson’s oft-reported story of lunging at someone with a hunting knife as a child, an episode Carson says led him to his Christian faith.
Watch a segment of Trump’s tirade yourself:
A retired neurosurgeon, Carson has emerged as the main challenger to Trump’s top position in national polls and popularity in early deciding states. A Reuters/Ipsos poll this month found 31 percent of Republicans favored Trump. Carson followed at 18 percent.
“Give me a break,” Trump said in his Thursday speech, where he also lashed out at other Republican candidates and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. “How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe that crap?”
He said the incident showed Carson had a “pathological” temper.
“If you’re pathological, there’s no cure for that,” Trump said. “If you’re a child molester, there’s no cure. They can’t stop you.”
Trump’s comments last night on Carson were so provocative (to put it mildly), other GOP rivals came today to Carson’s defense:
“Anyone can turn a multi-million dollar inheritance into more money, but all the money in the world won’t make you as smart as Ben Carson,” candidate Carly Fiorina wrote on Facebook.
Republican candidate Lindsey Graham called Carson a “good, decent man,” and said of Trump: “I think he melted down last night.”
Melt-down or not, Trump’s tone and content last night may have taken attacks amongst GOP rivals to a new low thus far. The civil discussion just two nights earlier in Tuesday’s GOP debate seems like but a dream at this point. And that’s disappointing, as we can count on the liberal media to do more than enough tearing down of our candidates.
However, perhaps calm, non-combative responses like Carson’s can help defuse — rather than amplify and extend — such attacks and minimize their chances of becoming the main attraction rather than just a dramatic sideshow.
Putting aside the candidates themselves, what do y’all think of this exchange?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]