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Carson Tells CNN: Your Story on My Past Is 'A Bunch of Lies'

CNN's "New Day"

By    |   Friday, 06 November 2015 09:22 AM

Ben Carson Friday told CNN that its story questioning his accounts of violence as a youth as "a bunch of lies" and a "pathetic" attempt to distract him and the public from the real issues that are important.

"You know, I'm not proud that I had these rage episodes," the top-ranking GOP candidate told CNN "New Day" anchor Alisyn Camerota during a long-ranging, often contentious exchange. "But I am proud of the fact I was able to get over them. My message has been that you can escape from that kind of anger."

But CNN's investigation of his accounting of the events, presented in his autobiography "Gifted Hands," is a "bunch of lies, attempting, you know to say 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."

In the story, friends and people who knew him when he was growing up in Detroit told CNN they don't remember Carson being either angry or violent, and questioned his accounts of attacks on relatives, friends, and even his mother.

Carson often points to his background as a troubled youth, and how he turned it all around through his redemption from God, to show the importance of religion in his life and his eventual growth to becoming one of the nation's top pediatric neurosurgeons.

But on Friday, Carson told Camerota that he wanted to know how CNN's methodology worked for the story, complaining that the network's reporters primarily talked to people who didn't know him when he was having troubles as a young teen.

"You talk to people primarily who knew me in high school who don't know anything about, for instance, the lock situation that occurred at Wilson Junior High School," he said, referencing one of the accountings in his book, where he says he hit a fellow teen with a lock hidden in his hand. "I don't understand how talking to people who knew me, particularly after the time that I had become a much more calm person, how does that corroborate the story that I'm lying about this? I want to know what the methodology is there."

He told Camerota that many of the victims' names were changed for the book, and he will not reveal their actual identities, unless they want to be revealed.

"Some of the victims were members of my family," Carson told her. "I will not let them be victimized again by the media. If you choose to believe I'm incapable of these acts, that's a compliment to me."

Camerota told him that people are fascinated to hear about his story of transformation from an angry young man to a soft-spoken doctor, and that CNN wants to know about the story, but Carson said he does not want to victimize the people by exposing them.

"If it doesn't fit the narrative that you want, that's fine," he told her. "Let's let the American people decide."

In the book, Carson said he attempted to stab a friend, who he called "Bob," and that he would have succeeded had the friend's belt buckle not deflected the knife. He told Camerota that the person in question was actually a family member, and that he talked to him on Thursday, and "he would prefer to stay out of the media."

He also complained that he is being vetted in a way that President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are not.

"What you all did with President Obama doesn't even come close to what you guys are trying to do in my case," he told her. "You're going to keep going back, trying to find, he said this 12 years ago. It is just garbage. We have too many things that are important to deal with."

And as for Clinton: "Do you ask her the questions about veracity of what she's done? I want you to go back and ask her some real questions about what happened at Benghazi. I want you to ask her, did her philosophy include not knowing anything about what was going on in all the foreign territories over which she was responsible?"

Carson, though, also pivoted to discuss many of the important issues facing the United States, including the ongoing wars in the Middle East:
  • "Recognize that Syria is an extraordinarily complex place. We have the Russians in there. We have the Chinese there. You have multiple different factions in there...We also need to recognize it's not just Syria. We have to realize we're dealing with global jihad movement."
  • "On opening U.S. doors to refugees: "No. We already have tens of millions of people here who are suffering economically. Why would we bring more, particularly bring in people who could easily be infiltrated with members of global jihad? That would be a silly thing to do."
On running for president:
  • "I have hundreds of thousands of petitions from my fellow Americans asking me to run for president. It wasn't something that I particularly wanted to do to be honest with you. But once I make the commitment to do it, I will go full force ahead to try to do it."
On his popularity:
  • "I suspect it's because I'm not a politician. People don't like politicians. They like people who are straightforward and people who are like them. And you know, that's the way I'm going to continue to be. I'm never going to be a politician."

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Ben Carson Friday told CNN that its story questioning his accounts of violence as a youth as "a bunch of lies" and a "pathetic" attempt to distract him and the public from the real issues that are important.
Ben Carson, GOP, past, violent, lies, youth
Friday, 06 November 2015 09:22 AM
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