Larry Flynt has made it a mission to keep the Republican Presidential Primary a bit more honest, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Larry Flynt is offering a $50,000 to $1 million bounty for anyone who can provide proof that one of Dr. Ben Carson’s top advisers is guilty of sexual harassment.
According to the Hill, Carson and Williams have been friends and business associates since Williams interviewed Carson in the 1990s. Reportedly, Williams suggested Carson run for president, but the idea didn’t seem viable to Dr. Ben Carson until the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama invited Ben Carson, then a world-renowned brain surgeon, to speak at the breakfast, but the conservative Carson devoted his speech to lambasting the Obama Administration and its policies. Carson’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast catapulted him into the consciousness of conservative American voters and directly led to his presidential bid.
Yet, despite their friendship and William’s position as Carson’s business manager, Carson hasn’t given Williams an official spot on his campaign team. Why is Ben Carson leaving his media savvy friend on the sidelines? Williams has an unfortunate history of scandal and controversy, one that Ben Carson can’t afford to have on his struggling presidential campaign. Armstrong Williams first entered the political arena due to his work with Senator Strom Thurmond and the Reagan White House on issues such as race relations and black outreach. His own political aspirations screeched to a halt after news broke that he advocated for the now-defunct No Child Left Behind law, but failed to reveal that the Department of Education paid him to do so.
Ben Carson doesn’t seem to suffer any illusions that his campaign can survive scrutiny of his association with Armstrong Williams. According to CNN, Carson distanced himself and his campaign from Williams in November, 2015. After a series of foreign policy gaffes called Carson’s viability into question, Armstrong Williams appeared on Bloomberg TV to criticize Carson’s doubters. But Ben Carson later told reporters that Williams has nothing to do with his campaign, and could only speak for himself. It seems like Ben Carson has heeded the advice he no doubt received from his campaign managers: he can be friends with Williams, but if he wants the Oval Office, Williams can’t ride to the White House with him.
That isn’t good enough for Larry Flynt, who is demanding that Ben Carson use Tuesday’s CNN Republican debate to publicly “disavow any and all relations with Williams” to make the bounty go away.
Dr. Ben Carson’s Presidential campaign is on borrowed time. Larry Flynt’s bounty won’t help, but it probably can’t hurt much.
[Photo by Vince Bucci, Alex Wong/Getty Images]