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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

 
Ben Carson and the submarine

by digby

What's happening to Ben Carson is kind of sad.  He has been considered almost a saint for decades for his life-saving surgical skills and his amazing personal story.  People have been inspired to enter medicine because of him and he has been a role model for millions of kids. He should have left it alone. Being under the political spotlight is showing that he is all too human. As it turns out, he's not much of a saint. In fact, he seems to be a liar:

Ben Carson dismissed a recent National Review piece calling him out on "bald-faced lies" about his relationship with supplement company Mannatech, chalking it up to a "submarine" sent by another Republican campaign on the debate stage.

"Well they're concerned about me. That obviously comes from somebody else on that debate stage. That's a submarine that's sent by them," Carson said in an interview Tuesday with Stephen Bannon on Sirius XM's "Breitbart News Daily." "They're very concerned about me and they're using the National Review as their political tool. That's pretty obvious."

That does not exactly narrow it down, but the retired neurosurgeon declined to elaborate on which campaign might be responsible.

In the column written by Jim Geraghty, the author recounts speaking in the past with Carson's business manager Armstrong Williams who he said "had no idea" about any of the controversies surrounding the company, including charges from then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott alleging unlawful and misleading sales practices.

"So you believe the National Review was used — that information was leaked or somehow was put in by another campaign and given to National Review to be weaponized?" Bannon asked Carson, who replied, "Oh yeah. Absolutely."

During last week's debate, Carson flatly denied "an involvement" with Mannatech, calling claims to the contrary "total propaganda."

"I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product," he said.

Geraghty called similar arguments from Carson and Williams "sophistry," adding that "the Speaker’s Bureau just transfers the money from the group to the speaker; Carson spoke to the group four times and talked about the company’s 'glyconutrient' products in a PBS special as recently as last year."

As Breitbart noted earlier this week, that program was not sponsored by Mannatech, but rather by the Platinum Group, which distributes the company's products.

Carson has endorsed this product. It is quite obvious. And the fact that he's lying about it is pretty bad. But what's worse is that he's been selling his reputation as a world renowned neurosurgeon to convince people to take a supplement to cure diseases it cannot possibly cure.

Now whether Carson knows that it cannot cure these diseases is unknown. I might have assumed in the past that it was ridiculous to assume he didn't know that but after watching him for a while it's fairly clear that he is an extremely gullible person. He may actually believe this junk cures cancer and Alzheimer's. He has said he believes it cured his prostate cancer and the the only reason he got the surgery was because he doesn't think most people would be as religious as he is about taking the supplements.

He might just be a mendacious con man. He does employ one, after all (Armstrong Williams.) But you can't fake being a pediatric neurosurgeon so it's not as if his whole persona is lie. I really think he's just pathologically gullible and believes everything he reads and sees. And he's taking on more and more right wing paranoia the more he gets involved in politics. It's really creepy.

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