Let it to the media, no one likes a winner…..
Ben Carson is seeking to weather a barrage of media scrutiny and attacks from fellow candidates that have intensified with his ascension to the top of GOP polls.
The soft-spoken, retired neurosurgeon is pushing back hard at accusations that he has exaggerated stories about his life to craft a personal narrative that resonates with supporters.
Surrounded by a mob of reporters late Friday evening, Carson characterized the growing attention to his past as a “witch hunt” aimed at derailing his candidacy.
“Here’s my prediction: My prediction is that all of you guys piling on is actually going to help me, because when I go out to these book signings and I see these thousands of people, they say, ‘Don’t let the media get you down,’ ” Carson said.
“I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running,” he added. “In fact, I remember just the opposite.”
Carson’s bid for the presidency, once considered a long shot, has steadily gained momentum throughout the fall. After a slow and steady rise, he this week eclipsed Donald Trump in a closely watched average of national polls for the first time.
With the front-runner status has come the most intense scrutiny of Carson’s political career.
On Wednesday, BuzzFeed published a video of a 1998 speech where Carson shared his belief that Egyptian pyramids were used to store grain, not serve as tombs for pharaohs.
On Thursday, he was hit with a story from CNN questioning whether his tales of a violent upbringing had been embellished.
And on Friday, Carson found himself in a firestorm when Politico reported that his campaign had admitted “fabricating” the offer of a full scholarship to West Point.
Carson’s team reacted with fury, calling the report untrue. Politico said it stood by the story, but dropped the “fabrication” claim and specified that Carson had never applied or been admitted to West Point.
Carson wrote in his 1990 book “Gifted Hands” that that he “was offered a full scholarship to West Point” after meeting with the Army Gen. William Westmoreland.
“I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going,” he wrote.
Carson told reporters on Friday that the offer to attend West Point was “informal,” something his campaign said was consistent with his past statements.
With controversy swirling, Trump pounced, sensing an opportunity to weaken his rival for the nomination.
“WOW, one of many lies by Ben Carson! Big story,” Trump wrote in a tweet Friday.
Trump has also ripped Carson’s “strange” and “ridiculous” pyramid theory, and said the West Point story was “one of many lies by Ben Carson.”
“Well, I think it’s really the beginning of the end,” Trump told The Washington Post.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a former Iowa caucus winner who has been struggling at the polls, piled on.