One of the most basic tasks of any presidential hopeful is to articulate their ambitions for America. But when CNN asked Ben Carson to do that, he completely lost his sh*t, arguing with the interviewer and crying foul.
CNN host Alisyn Camerota played back footage of two controversial remarks by Republican candidate Ben Carson. In the first, he called sections of the American public stupid. In the second, he stated that without Fox News, “we’d be Cuba.”
She asked Dr. Carson to explain which sections of the American public were stupid, and the candidate answered that those who believed social programs helped the disadvantaged were stupid. Camerota began her follow up question:
“So, just to be clear, people who support food stamps or Medicaid or welfare…”
But Carson cut her off.
“I didn’t say that, now you’re trying to put words into my mouth,” he insisted. “Why don’t you listen to what I just told you?”
But Camerota was unperturbed.
“It sounds like what you’re saying are liberals…”
Carson cuts her off again, whining:
“I can’t believe that you used to work on Fox News!”
This moved Camerota neatly on to Carson’s second remark about Fox News stopping America from turning into Cuba.
“You mean that if Fox News didn’t exist, we would be a communist country?”
At this point, Carson is clearly angry. He loses all semblance of calm under fire.
“No. Again, there you go with sensationalism,” he grumbles.
“That’s what you try to do. You hope somehow that will resonate with people who don’t think for themselves. I’ve got news for you, people are a lot smarter than you think they are, and they know exactly what I’m talking about.”
Again, Camerota is having none of it. She points out that she is simply playing the presidential hopeful’s own words back to him. It’s his job to build his own defense.
“Dr. Carson, you said it!”
“Dr. Carson, I’m quoting — I’m not even quoting you, I’m playing your words. You are the person who said there are a lot of people who are stupid and without Fox News, we would be Cuba.”
Then Carson cements his defeat in the interview by going personal. Unable to make a simple defense of his own words, he loses it.
“Are you honestly telling me that you didn’t know what I was talking about when I said that? Are you honestly telling me? If you are, you might fit in that category,” he said.
There may well be moments where it is appropriate to call out the media for distorting a candidate’s position. But a) this was not one of those situations, and b) this was the most classless, whiney way of doing it. All-in-all, Carson just failed at producing a presidential reaction under the most mild pressure. This was softball compared with what he would face in the White House, and he blew it.
Featured image via video screen capture