Are Conservatives Really Going All-In on Ben Carson?

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Wow. I gather that conservatives are making a big U-turn on Ben Carson. This morning most of them were wringing their hands over Carson’s deception about being accepted at West Point. Now they’re defending him and blaming the whole thing on Politico and its typical liberal media hatred of conservatives. Their basic defense seems to be that Carson never said he “applied” to West Point, or even that he was “accepted” at West Point. All he said is that he was offered a scholarship to go there.

Well, here’s what he said in August:

I was the highest student ROTC member in Detroit and was thrilled to get an offer from West Point. But I knew medicine is what I wanted to do.

Come on, folks. “An offer from West Point” is the same as “being accepted at West Point.” It’s obvious what he was saying here, and it’s equally obvious it isn’t true. Here is Carson’s defense:

In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Mr. Carson said: “I don’t remember all the specific details. Because I had done so extraordinarily well you know I was told that someone like me — they could get a scholarship to West Point. But I made it clear I was going to pursue a career in medicine.”

“It was, you know, an informal ‘with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’”

That might have happened—though no one would have used the word “scholarship” since West Point is free to begin with. But for the past two decades it’s not what Carson has said. It’s not even close. There’s a world of difference between (a) someone telling you that you could probably get into West Point and (b) actually getting into West Point.

Carson is a nutcase, a policy buffoon, and at the very least, a serial personal embellisher. With a guy like that, you just know more stuff is going to come out. Conservatives should quit while they’re behind and dump the guy. If they stick with him, eventually he’s going to make them all look like dopes.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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