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There’s a whiff of desperation in Donald Trump’s Ben Carson bashing

Reuters/Scott Morgan
“Carson’s second. And I don’t understand it. I really don’t.”
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s 83 days until the Iowa primary, which will officially kick off the US presidential primary process, and Donald Trump hasn’t managed to shake Ben Carson. Trump, who is neck and neck with the soft-spoken neurosurgeon in the latest Real Clear Politics poll average, sounded more than a little desperate as he railed against Carson last night (Nov. 12) at an Iowa rally, including this re-enactment of Carson’s alleged attempt to stab a friend was deflected by a belt buckle:


“How stupid are the people of Iowa?” Trump said. “How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?”

He added:

[Carson] wrote a book. And in the book he said terrible things about himself. He said that he’s pathological and that he’s basically got pathological disease. Now he wrote this, I guess, before he was running for office, or thought he was running for office. And I don’t want a person that’s got pathological disease. I don’t want it. I’m not saying he’s got it! He said it …
He actually said pathological temper. And then he defined it as disease. So he said he has pathological disease. Now, if you’re pathological, there’s no cure for that, folks. If you’re a child molester, a sick puppy, a child molester, there’s no cure for that. There’s only one cure, we don’t want to talk about that cure. That’s the ultimate cure. Well, there’s death, and there’s the other thing

There is no consensus in the psychiatric community on effective treatment for “pathological behavior,” such as pathological lying; nor is there even a solid, universally agreed-upon definition.  But setting Trump’s psychological assessment aside, there is no question that Carson’s campaign has taken some major hits in recent weeks, as journalists and opposition researchers have found numerous untruths and inconsistencies in his storied biography, not to mention odd theories about the Egyptian pyramids.

If we accept Carson’s biographical anecdotes as truth—that, as an angry youth, he went after his mother with a hammer, or that he stabbed a friend that he directed a gunman holding up a Popeye’s to shoot the cashier instead of himsel—or reject them as fabrications, either scenario is problematic.

“Carson’s an enigma to me,” Trump admitted in Thursday’s speech. “He’s doing great in Iowa. He’s second in the polls. With all these professional politicians, I’m first, Carson’s second. And I don’t understand it. I really don’t.” Neither do we, Donald.

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