Ben Carson and Donald Trump, presidential hopefuls for the Republican nomination, seem to be publicly fighting over who’s more conservative and religious. After Ben Carson slammed Trump’s faith Wednesday, stating “probably the biggest” difference between the two are their religion, Trump retaliated.
Wow, I am ahead of the field with Evangelicals (am so proud of this) and virtually every other group, and Ben Carson just took a swipe at me
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2015
When asked what the difference is between him and Trump, Carson said, “I’ve realized where my success has come from, and I don’t in anyway deny my faith in God.”
Then quoting what he said is one of his favorite Bible verses, Carson said, “‘By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life,’ and that’s a very big part of who I am. I don’t get that impression with him. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t get that.”
The next day, Trump said of Ben Carson, “Who is he to question my faith? When I am — I mean he doesn’t even know me. When he questions my faith — and I’m a believer, big league, in God and the Bible — and he questions my faith and he doesn’t know me.”
Trump also called into CNN’s New Day, stating Ben Carson is just an “OK doctor” and that if “you look at his faith and I think you’re not going to find so much.”
To the Washington Post, Carson said, “I would like to say to him that the intention was not to talk to him, but about what motivates me. If he took that as a personal attack on him, I apologize, it was certainly not the intent.”
Ben Carson added, “The media frequently wants to goad people into wars, into gladiator fights, you know… And I’m certainly not going to get into that.”
In addition to religious beliefs, Carson and Trump also traded insults about each other’s stance on abortion. Trump called Carson’s views on abortion “horrendous.” While Carson now opposes abortion, he used to be pro-choice and used tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research back in 1992. He defended his history even while criticizing Planned Parenthood, calling for the organization to be defunded.
While Trump is now anti-abortion, he also used to be pro-choice and described himself in 1999 as “very pro-choice.” Though he claims to be an active Protestant, he is having difficulty gaining support from religious conservatives.
“You look at Carson’s faith, you look at his views on abortion, and I think that’s why I’m leading with Evangelicals,” Trump said.
Though Trump remains the frontrunner in the polls with 32 percent support, Carson is making strides in recent polls, landing in second place with 19 percent supporting him. With Ben Carson recently gaining 10 points in the polls and inching his way closer to Trump’s standing, the attacks between the two are likely just beginning.
What do you think of Ben Carson’s comments and of Carson as a potential candidate for the presidency?
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]