Tags: Trump Administration | Ben Carson | GOP2016 | carson | campaign | puerto rico

Carson to Campaign in Puerto Rico Amid Scrutiny

Image: Carson to Campaign in Puerto Rico Amid Scrutiny
(Getty Images)

Saturday, 07 Nov 2015 01:39 PM

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson will visit Puerto Rico on Sunday to speak at a political event organized by a gubernatorial candidate in the island's pro-statehood party, a campaign aide said.

Carson, under fire over inaccuracies in stories he has told about his early life, will speak at an assembly organized by Ricky Rossello, a pro-statehood politician running for governor against incumbent Alejandro Garcia Padilla, said a source close to Rossello's campaign.

The 64-year-old retired neurosurgeon is tied with Donald Trump at the top of Republican primary polls a year before the November 2016 presidential election.

He plans to make only a brief appearance in Puerto Rico, arriving on Sunday in time to speak, then leaving, said the source. A Carson campaign official said up to 5,000 people were expected to attend the rally.

Carson has little support among Republicans in Puerto Rico, who mostly favor candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. The source said Rossello did not invite Carson to speak, and that Carson had asked to be included in the program over the last few days.

Carson may be trying to push himself onto the agenda in Puerto Rico as his opponents have, not only because the island's residents can vote in presidential primaries, but because Florida, a major swing state, is home to nearly 1 million Puerto Ricans.

The visit comes as Carson is dealing with media accounts questioning the accuracy of stories he has told about his early life, part of a personal narrative of how he rose from inner-city poverty to the highest ranks of the medical profession.

Carson angrily denied on Friday that he had misrepresented the facts surrounding an offer of a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when he was a young man.

Carson said he had never applied to West Point but had been told by officials he would be admitted to the academy if he wanted, based on his performance in a reserve officer's training program.

Carson's account of how he attempted to stab a friend in his troubled youth also came under renewed scrutiny. Carson, a favorite of conservative activists, has often recounted the story on the campaign trail but he has declined to identify the individual.

Addressing the media accounts at a news conference on Friday, Carson's usually calm and reserved demeanor cracked as he angrily denounced reports of the inaccuracies in his stories as a "bunch of lies."

On paper, the visit Puerto Rico is curious: Rossello is a Democrat, while his running mate, Puerto Rico's Republican House minority leader Jenniffer Gonzalez, has pledged support to Bush. The pair are united through their pro-statehood sentiment, which is the key dividing issue in Puerto Rican politics, but neither would appear to share much in common with Carson.

Still, if Carson is prepared to endorse statehood for Puerto Rico, he may gain some support at Sunday's event, and Rossello's campaign felt that bringing U.S. attention to the issue outweighed the political risk of being seen as allied with Carson, said the person close to Rossello's campaign.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson will visit Puerto Rico on Sunday to speak at a political event organized by a gubernatorial candidate in the island's pro-statehood party, a campaign aide said.
carson, campaign, puerto rico
510
2015-39-07
Saturday, 07 Nov 2015 01:39 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved