Republican presidential contender Ben Carson spoke out against the media and called their questions about his violent past “a bunch of lies” and a “pathetic” attempt to distract him and the public from the issues that really matter.
The retired neurosurgeon has recently come under scrutiny as the media has tried to confirm some of the childhood incidents he has spoken about publicly. And he stands by his stories. “It is just garbage,” Carson said to CNN Friday, ABC reports. “We have too many things that are important to deal with.”
It is no surprise that this sudden surge of scrutiny is plaguing Carson. He just became a front-runner in the Republican race for president.
Carson partially became a beloved person in conservative circles because of his story. He was a guy who survived a violent childhood and became one of the world’s most celebrated neurosurgeons.
“You know, I’m not proud that I had these rage episodes,” the top-ranking GOP candidate told CNN “New Day” anchor Alisyn Camerota, according to Newsmax. “But I am proud of the fact I was able to get over them. My message has been that you can escape from that kind of anger.”
But Carson said that CNN’s investigation of his accounting of the events, presented in his autobiography Gifted Hands, is a “bunch of lies, attempting, you know to say I’m lying about my history. I think it’s pathetic and basically what the media does is they try to get you distracted with all of this stuff so that you don’t talk about the things that are important. Because we have so many important things.”
Essentially, people from his childhood told CNN that they don’t remember Carson being an angry person. They also questioned whether his accounts of his attacks on friends, relatives and on his mother.
Carson told Camerota that he was interested in knowing how CNN’s methodology worked for the story and claimed that the network only spoke to people who didn’t know Carson that well and wouldn’t have known that he was having problems.
“You talk to people primarily who knew me in high school who don’t know anything about, for instance, the lock situation that occurred at Wilson Junior High School,” he said, referencing an account in which he hit another teen with a lock in his hand. “I don’t understand how talking to people who knew me, particularly after the time that I had become a much more calm person, how does that corroborate the story that I’m lying about this? I want to know what the methodology is there.”
He also told Camerota that many of the names of the victims were changed in the book in order to protect their identities. “Some of the victims were members of your family,” Carson said. “I will not let them be victimized again by the media. If you choose to believe I’m incapable of these acts, that’s a compliment to me.”
Camerota told Carson that CNN wants to know more about his story, but Carson said he does not want to victimize anyone. “If it doesn’t fit the narrative that you want, that’s fine,” he said. “Let’s let the American people decide.”