Telling self-congratulatory lies is never a bright idea.
Telling easily verifiable self-congratulatory lies and bragging about them in a book is downright stupid. But that’s precisely what presidential candidate Ben Carson did.
Please consider US Presidential Hopeful Ben Carson Admits to West Point Offer Lie.
In his autobiography, Gifted Hands, Mr Carson tells an inspirational rags-to-riches story about his rise from a Detroit ghetto to becoming the youngest head of paediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In the book, he claims to have been offered a full scholarship to West Point, but wrote that he turned down the offer to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. On Friday, his campaign admitted that he had not even applied to the college.
Donald Trump, the real estate mogul who is neck and neck with Mr Carson at the top of the polls, quickly seized on the scandal which was first reported by Politico, retweeting several critical tweets including one that read: “WOW, one of many lies by Ben Carson! Big story.”
According to an average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, Mr Carson is supported by 24.8 per cent of Republicans, just fractionally more than Mr Trump who has 24.6 per cent. While Mr Carson has risen without much fanfare, he is now starting to attract a lot more scrutiny of his record.
In the book, Mr Carson, an African-American who joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps in secondary school, describes having dinner with General William Westmoreland, the commander of US forces in Vietnam, and later being “offered a full scholarship to West Point”.
“I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going,” he writes.
Since surging in the polls this summer, Mr Carson has come under scrutiny for eyebrow-raising remarks, such as suggesting that a Muslim should not be US president, and describing Obamacare, the administration’s signature healthcare policy, as “the worst thing to happen in this nation since slavery”.
In other comments, Mr Carson has alleged that the theory of evolution has been “encouraged” by the devil and that homosexuality is a choice.
“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Mr Carson says in the taped remarks. “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it.” This week, Mr Carson said he still subscribed to this theory.
In his book, Mr Carson also describes how he was once consumed with “pathological anger” that resulted in him trying to hit his mother and stab a close friend. “That day when I tried to stab that young man was (my) last outburst of temper . . . I prayed to God for insight for deliverance,” he wrote.
Mr Trump tweeted on Friday: “With Ben Carson wanting to hit his mother on head with a hammer, stab a friend and Pyramids built for grain storage — don’t people get it?”
Ben Carson is clearly a nut case. Hopefully this marks the end of his presidential campaign.
Mike “Mish” shedlock