VIA| Retired neurosurgeon and current Republican candidate for President Dr. Ben Carson has been the subject of heavy scrutiny during his ascent in the polls, but he’s got to be feeling good about his chances.
Last week, there were three major stories from Carson’s past that were called into question, all of which failed to fully debunk his claims.
1) The West Point “scholarship.”
On Friday, Politico ran a story claiming the Carson campaign “conceded” that his application to the United States Military Academy at West Point was a complete “fabrication.”
One problem: Carson never said he applied to the prestigious military academy.
Carson’s campaign manager Barry Bennett told IJ.com that “there’s nothing to challenge. It’s 100 percent true,” adding:
“They just said that they could get him in. He knew that. And not being able to pay for school — it meant that that was going to be full scholarship. That’s all it meant.”
Following the revelations that the Politico story was misleading, as well as the Carson campaign’s reaction calling it “an outright lie,” Politicochanged the headline and various lines of the copy, then issued a statement saying they stand by the story.
2) The stabbing.
Carson wrote about an incident in which a belt buckle saved him from stabbing a young man. He cites the incident as a life-changing moment where he decided to curb his anger and violent ways to become closer to God.
The story has been highly contested and accused of being fraudulent.
But citing a 1997 profile of Carson’s mother, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski unearthed a previous recollection of the near-deadly outburst by Dr. Carson.
Here’s Carson’s mother in a 1997 profile of the Ben Carson play saying the stabbing incident happened by the way… pic.twitter.com/WifmQsMJlJ
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) November 9, 2015
3) The exam hoax.
On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal ran a story questioning Carson’s various anecdotes about his life.
Among them was a story involving Carson’s time at Yale when he was tricked into taking a repeat exam while the rest of class walked out. Following the exam, the professor told him it was a hoax and handed him $10 for being:
“the most honest student in the class.”
WSJ reported that no record of such a hoax exam ever existed. Further, they suggested the class did not exist either. But following the WSJ report, Carson posted a clip of the Yale student newspaper from January 14th, 1970 in Facebook.
Further, BuzzFeed found a former classmate of Carson’s who remembers the prank. Curtis Bakal, who claims to have played a role in the prank, said that he is “99% certain” Carson’s story is correct, adding:
“When I read about the story in the Wall Street Journal, I immediately said, to my wife and friend, ‘That was the prank we played at the Record! And Ben Carson was in the class.’”
Carson’s record is being held under a magnifying glass, as are all candidates who breach the top ranks of national polls as Carson has in recent weeks.
But the vetting process has appeared to have only emboldened him, the high-profile attacks dramatically boosted his fundraising, and he seems more willing than ever to push back when the moment is right..