Posts Tagged ‘Ben Carson’

Yup. He won second place in the Nevada caucus last night. Which is like winning first place in Rubio-land. He said on the TV this morning that he feels “good about our second-place finish.” Congratulations!

Meanwhile, in the real world, Trump won again. The inevitability of his nomination is beginning to seem, well, inevitable. But a glimmer of hope for sane Americans can be found in the 1992 presidential campaign, where Bill Clinton lost the first four primaries, and nine of the first ten. Bob Dole lost four out of the first five on the Republican side in 1996. So I guess Rubio isn’t out of this thing entirely.

How about Ted Cruz? Hard to see a path for him.

John Kasich today: “Of course I’m staying in. Why would I drop out when I’ve got the best chance to be the nominee outside of Trump?” Memo to John: You’re gonna need to win at some point. Or at least come in second so that you can claim you won.

And we can’t forget Ben Carson, another card carrying member of the deep bench. Apparently he’s finally come to the realization that his campaign is nothing but a scam. “We had people who didn’t really seem to understand finances,” a laughing Carson told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “CNN Newsroom,” adding, “or maybe they did—maybe they were doing it on purpose.”

And lastly: Whomever is the Democratic nominee had better not take Trump lightly, assuming he is the Republican nominee. Paul Waldman outlines Trump’s potential strengths in the general election.

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So Dr. Ben Carson is a winner, too! Never mind his last place finish in South Carolina.

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After today’s rant, my guess is that the people of Iowa are not stupid enough to vote for The Donald. Ya gotta read this account from The Washington Post describing Trump’s speech in Fort Dodge, Iowa today. The man is truly delusional.

FORT DODGE, Iowa — For an hour and 35 minutes, Republican front-runner Donald Trump vented about everything that’s wrong with this country and this election.

He said he would “bomb the s—” out of areas controlled by the Islamic State that are rich with oil and claimed to know more about the terrorist group than U.S. military generals. He ranted about how everyone else is wrong on illegal immigration and how even the “geniuses at Harvard” have now backed his way of thinking. He accused Hillary Rodham Clinton of playing the “woman’s card,” and said Marco Rubio is “weak like a baby.” He signed a book for an audience member and then threw it off the stage. He forgot to take questions like he promised. And he spent more than 10 minutes angrily attacking his chief rival, Ben Carson, at one point calling him “pathological, damaged.”

Gone was the candidate’s recent bout of composure and control on the campaign trail. As Trump ranted on and on, campaign staffers with microphones who were supposed to take questions from the audience instead took a seat, trying to cheer their boss here and there. The audience laughed at times and clapped for many of Trump’s sharp insults. But an hour and 20 minutes into the speech, people who were standing on risers on the stage behind Trump sat down. The applause came less often and less loud. As Trump skewered Carson in deeply personal language, a sense of discomfort settled on the crowd of roughly 1,500. Several people shook their heads or whispered to their neighbors.

Carson wrote in his autobiography that as a young man he had a “pathological temper” that caused him to violently attack others — going after his mother with a hammer and trying to stab a friend, only to have the blade stopped and broken by the friend’s belt buckle. In recent days, those accounts have come under scrutiny, and Carson has had to clarify or correct some of the details.

Trump said he doesn’t believe Carson is telling the truth and questioned how a belt buckle could stop a blade. He stepped away from the podium and acted out how he imagined such an attack would happen, with his own belt buckle flopping around. He asked if anyone in the audience had a knife to try out his theory. His Secret Service agents, who just joined his detail this week, stood guard.

“Carson is an enigma to me,” Trump said. “He said that he’s ‘pathological’ and that he’s got, basically, pathological disease… I don’t want a person that’s got pathological disease.”

Trump repeatedly said he doesn’t believe there’s any cure for such a disease, and he said he doesn’t believe that Carson was truly changed by divine intervention, as he writes in his book.

“If you’re a child molester — a sick puppy — a child molester, there’s no cure for that,” Trump said. “If you’re a child molester, there’s no cure. They can’t stop you. Pathological? There’s no cure.”

And yet Carson is doing well in the polls, Trump said in disbelief.

“How stupid are the people of Iowa?” Trump said. “How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?”

Trump started the speech looking exhausted, his voice hoarse. This was his fourth state in four days. A sense of anger built as Trump listed off everything wrong with the country and everything wrong with his rivals. His voice got louder and stronger, his hands gripping the podium. He would be a unifier, he said, a winner. Then he wondered aloud if he should just move to Iowa and buy a farm.

“I’ve really enjoyed being with you,” Trump said as he drew to a sudden but long awaited end. “It’s sad in many ways because we’re talking about so many negative topics, but in certain ways it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful.”

And there’s this from Trump’s nine-minute(!) rant against Ben Carson:

But at the same time, Trump expressed disbelief at Carson’s 50-year-old stories, including that a friend’s belt buckle somehow stopped Carson’s camping knife from sinking in. Trump reenacted a young Carson in order to mock the stories, and at one point he walked away from the podium to show how ridiculous he felt the stabbing story was.

“Give me a break, the knife broke,” he said. “The belt moves this way. It moves this way! It moves that way! He hits a belt buckle! … Believe me, it ain’t gonna to work. … But he took the knife, he went like this! And he plunged it into the belt! And amazingly, the belt stayed totally flat and the knife broke.”

And Trump discounted how Carson could have had an epiphany had he truly been as violent as his book described.

“He goes into the bathroom for a couple hours, and comes out, and now he’s religious. And the people of Iowa believe him,” he said. “Give me a break. Give me a break. It doesn’t happen that way. It doesn’t happen that way.”

He added: “Some people might not like it: ‘Oh, that’s not really nice what you say.’ Don’t be fools. Don’t be fools, OK?”

Good Lord. Put CNBC together with the Republican presidential candidates and what do you get? A circus. Clowns on stage, clowns asking the questions. My God.

A few observations:

  • There’s no way Carly can get elected. She has no likable qualities whatsoever. That’s kind of important when you’re running for president.
  • Let’s remember What Chris Christie stands for: “As reported Sunday by Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post, Christie met with 200 citizens at the Jersey shore last week and, regarding state worker retirement benefits, declared: ‘Promises were made that can’t be kept… Welcome to the real world, folks.'” Those were pensions that were earned. They weren’t gifts. Christie doesn’t give a shit.
  • Trump: “I used the bankruptcy laws to my benefit.” We get it, Donald. You use everything to your benefit. Never mind anybody else who got screwed because you welched on your debts.
  • Huckabee is always angry. It’s not a good look for a candidate, if you ask me. But then, conservatives in general seem to always be angry with, well, everything.
  • A note to Marco Rubio: A good, polished answer to the now oft-asked question about your mismanagement of your personal finances. However: I didn’t inherit any money, either. My Dad disappeared when I was a kid. My mom worked a full time job to raise her kids. I had to work to pay for my schooling, too; nobody gave me a single penny of help. On the other hand, I didn’t borrow money to do it. I didn’t buy a second house to have it foreclosed. I didn’t buy extravagances like speedboats that I couldn’t afford. I haven’t raided my IRA. I’ve never intermingled business and personal funds. You did. I’m not impressed.
  • Carson claims he’s had nothing to do with fraudulent Mannatech? Um… Ben Carson: “The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel. And that fuel was the right kind of healthy food. You know we live in a society that is very sophisticated, and sometimes we’re not able to achieve the original diet. And we have to alter our diet to fit our lifestyle. Many of the natural things are not included in our diet. Basically what the company is doing is trying to find a way to restore natural diet as a medicine or as a mechanism for maintaining health.” See him talk about the virtues of snake oil Mannatech here
  • When asked about H1B visas, Rubio says we need “reforms.” What he means is, we need regulations. He even went on to list a few. For example, before you hire anyone from abroad, you would have to advertise the job for 180 days. You also have to prove that you would pay these people more than you would pay someone else. It cracks me up to listen to these guys claim regulations are from satan while at the same time citing the need for regulations. And then he linked H1B visas to a lack of vocational education. We’re not bringing in auto mechanics on H1B visas, Marco.
  • In addition to the regulations boogeyman, there’s the timeworn conservative complaint that Democrats simply promise freebies to people. So it was interesting to hear Jeb! crow about how his tax plan gives $2000 to every family. On the other hand, Jeb! is toast. Done. Remember when everyone told us he was the smart brother? Maybe, but he’s a terrible politician. But at least his fantasy football team is seven and oh!
  • And another thing. These guys constantly complain that everyone–everyone–is smarter than us hapless Americans. ISIS, Mexico, Iran… Even more amusing is the fact that conservatives actually believe they’re the dumbest of dumb Americans. How many times do we hear about how smart and shrewd those dirty, rotten liberals are–out-manuveuring conservatives at every turn? Why, it’s the reason the liberal agenda is winning. (Oh, sorry, I think I read this type of whining at BV4.)
  • Jeb!: We need regulation for fantasy football because “they can’t regulate themselves.” Dammit! I though regulations were bad for America.
  • Rand Paul: It’s the greatest generation’s fault that Medicare and Social Security are broken, because they “had too many damn kids.” Way to throw the Greatest Generation under the bus, Rand! My son watched that part, then turned and left, muttering, “He has no chance to be president.” Couldn’t agree more.
  • Ted Cruz: Let’s go back to the gold standard!
  • Carly: “We need a proven leader who produces results.” Better start looking for him (or her), Carly, because you haven’t produced any results ever.
  • Trump: “I’m such a great negotiator that I coerced CNBC to cut the length of the debate by an hour! Imagine what I could do for America!”
  • Is CNBC really a part of the “mainstream media”? I think this is the first time I’ve ever watched it. Doesn’t seem very mainstream to me, and judging by their on-screen personalities–clowns like Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli–it’s hard to imagine anyone considering them mainstream.
  • Honesty was almost as big a loser at the third Republican debate as Jeb!. Kevin Drum offers just a few examples.
  • To me, Marco Rubio is the most formidable candidate of the bunch. My money’s on him to get the nomination. Carly has no chance, as noted above. Huckabee is just an angry old man who has no chance. Kasich doesn’t play to the base; he has no chance. Jeb! is just a terrible candidate; Rubio ate him for lunch. Can we just trim the field now?

So the third Republican debate is coming to a TV near you tomorrow night. Candidates and their teams started to arrive in Colorado today. Some of them weren’t too impressed.

“Campaigns erupt over greenrooms at third GOP debate,” reads one headline. “Aides to Chris Christie and Rand Paul complain their work spaces look like bathrooms.”

Just hours before GOP candidates take the stage here Wednesday night, tensions over the Republican National Committee’s handling of the debates are flaring anew.

At issue this time: greenrooms.

During a tense 30-minute meeting at the Coors Event Center, which was described by three sources present, several lower-polling campaigns lashed out at the RNC. They accused the committee of allotting them less-than-hospitable greenroom spaces while unfairly giving lavish ones to higher-polling candidates, such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

The drama began Tuesday afternoon as RNC officials led campaigns on a walk-through of the debate site. After touring the stage, candidates got a peek at what their greenrooms looked like.

Trump was granted a spacious room, complete with plush chairs and a flat-screen TV. Marco Rubio got a theater-type room, packed with leather seats for him and his team of aides. Carly Fiorina’s room had a Jacuzzi.

Then there was Chris Christie, whose small space was dominated by a toilet. So was Rand Paul’s.

“This is ridiculous,” fumed Christie’s campaign manager, Ken McKay. “We’re in a restroom.”

Oh, boo hoo. How about garnering enough interest to be relevant? Of course, if Christie’s green room is really that small… well, let’s just say he may not be able to use it.

That Republican bench is awfully deep, so we’ve been told ad naseum. Today we bring you Ben Carson, currently second in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. Once upon a time, Carson was a highly respected medical doctor. Now he seems to be trying to prove just how ill-informed a medical doctor can be in every other part of life.

His comments in the aftermath of the Oregon mass shooting are idiotic enough, but today he demonstrated that he does not understand what the debt ceiling is. That would seem to be kind of important for someone managing the federal government.

Ryssdal: As you know, Treasury Secretary Lew has come out in the last couple of days and said, “We’re gonna run out of money, we’re gonna run out of borrowing authority, on the fifth of November.” Should the Congress then and the president not raise the debt limit? Should we default on our debt?

Carson: Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut.

Ryssdal: To be clear, it’s increasing the debt limit, not the budget, but I want to make sure I understand you. You’d let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit.

Carson: No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, “Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period.”

Ryssdal: I’m gonna try one more time, sir. This is debt that’s already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?

Carson: What I’m saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops. You’re always gonna ask the same question every year. And we’re just gonna keep going down that pathway. That’s one of the things I think that the people are tired of.

Ryssdal: I’m really trying not to be circular here, Dr. Carson, but if you’re not gonna raise the debt limit and you’re not gonna give specifics on what you’re gonna cut, then how are we going to know what you are going to do as president of the United States?