Don’t look now, but the rhetoric in the race for the GOP nomination seems to have officially jumped the proverbial shark. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump — the man once referred to by President Barack Obama as a “carnival barker” — at the center of all of the hullaballoo. During an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Trump renewed his attack on Dr. Ben Carson, who has been closing in on the real estate mogul’s lead in polls over the course of recent weeks. Revisiting the ongoing flap over Ben Carson’s past struggles with his violent temper, Donald Trump speculated that such issues are often deep-seeded and incurable. But he didn’t stop there, upping the ante with one of his most jaw-dropping and incendiary assertions in his controversial campaign. The Hill re-published excerpts from Trump’s comments shortly after the initial broadcast of the interview.
“It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper…That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that… As an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.”
As previously noted by Inquisitr and other news outlets, Ben Carson raised eyebrows both in his autobiography and in many interviews and speeches with claims that he was extremely violent in his youth. In addition to saying that he once attacked his mother with a hammer, Carson has also professed that he once bloodied a classmate’s face by hitting him in the face with a padlock and also claimed that he once tried to stab someone in the stomach. A spate of media scrutiny put the retired neurosurgeon in the unusual position of defending some purportedly terrible crimes but for his part, Ben Carson maintains that the aforementioned incidents are an important part in the story of his personal evolution.
Donald Trump obviously does not share Ben Carson’s perspective on things, though, having publicly expressed concern that Carson’s past propensity for violence makes him a risk to govern wisely. At the same time, the GOP frontrunner has also cast aspersions on his rival’s reminiscences, expressing doubt as to whether or not Carson has accurately represented his life to admirers and potential voters. Trump has also taken shots at Ben Carson over the latter’s belief that Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical figure Joseph as a way of storing grain.
Trump’s heightened attacks on Ben Carson follow months of relatively good will between the two GOP contenders. Indeed, Trump has even defended some of Carson’s more offbeat comments in the past, while publicly expressing admiration and respect for the acclaimed doctor. Back in September, Donald Trump spoke highly of Carson during an interview on Good Morning America, calling the doctor a “good guy.” He echoed the sentiments a month later, suggesting that the two men have hit it off during their respective efforts on the campaign trail.
“You know he’s a good guy, he’s a nice guy. We get along very well,” Trump said of Ben Carson in an ABC interview. In the same conversation, Donald Trump indicated he would target Carson’s lack of negotiating experience as the gap closed further between them. Apparently, that strategy has changed — at least for the moment.
Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff stylings have kept his presidential campaign in the headlines since its very inception. He started his bid for high office with a series of comments that deeply offended Mexicans and Mexican-Americans alike and that particular feud — ostensibly centered around the matter of illegal immigration— has virtually defined his campaign up to the present. But along the way, he has also lashed out at political rivals with mean-spirited jokes and insults, including Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul.
It’s worth noting that Donald Trump himself isn’t terribly fond of ad hominem attacks, having recently refuted a decades-old claim by his ex-wife Ivana that he sexually assaulted her during their marriage. When the story resurfaced earlier this summer, Trump dispatched his representatives to deny the allegation, including a lawyer from the Trump Organization who infamously asserted that there is no such thing as marital rape.
After Trump called Carson a “complete and total loser” in a taped commercial spot for Saturday Night Live, Carson dismissed the jokes as little more than grade school shenanigans. But now that awkward humor has mushroomed into hateful hyperbole, Ben Carson might find it a necessary and opportune time to strike back against the personal attacks of his chief rival. Considering Donald trump’s devoted base of followers and his broad reach over conventional and social media outlets, Ben Carson’s political future could well depend on how he stands up to Donald Trump once and for all.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)