Carson insisted that the story, as recounted in his 1996 autobiography “Gifted Hands,” was accurate.
“What about the West Point thing is false? What is false about it?” he asked, according to the AP. “I think it is perfectly clear. I think there are people who want to make it into a mistake. I’m not going to say it is a mistake, so forget about it.”
The GOP frontrunner pointed to the passage of time to explain why he couldn’t recall who had offered him the scholarship.
“It’s almost 50 years ago. I bet you don’t remember all the people you talked to 50 years ago,” the AP quoted him as saying.
Known for his calm demeanor, Carson appeared unusually agitated during the press conference, accusing the press of engaging in a “witch hunt” to tarnish his reputation.
All through the last month or so of the primary campaign, Ben Carson has had a look on his face, and that look is OH SHIT NOW I MIGHT HAVE TO DO THIS. That look is the look you get when you’re sure the hottie who’s waving at you is waving at someone behind you because YOU, really? You haven’t even showered, and Fine Young Thing is looking YOU up and down, you have got to be kidding me.
This wasn’t supposed to happen, like happen happen. Ben Carson was supposed to give a few speeches, and appear in a couple of debates, and pack his book signings, and then he was going to drop out and nobody would be the wiser. Nobody would vet his every public and written statement. Nobody would call up West Point. Nobody would ask him why the pyramids were built.
Nobody would nitpick all the minutiae our political press likes to nitpick so they don’t have to learn about actual policy, and by the way, fuck everything forever for THIS being the stuff that takes Carson down. He doesn’t know what the debt ceiling is, he thinks Jesus is genuinely hanging out with him on weekends, and he has no idea what he’d do if somebody set off a nuke in downtown Memphis, but sure, he made up a story about high school this one time UNCLEAN UNCLEAN.
The pyramid thing is actually the least insane thing he believes.
None of this was ever supposed to be examined. And then about a month ago people took a look at the GOP field and said hey, why not this guy? He seems to have an inspirational personal story and can speak in complete sentences. And suddenly it had to WORK. You know how you say if you won the lottery you’d buy Barbados and govern as a benevolent dictator? Here is eleven hundred squillion dollars, buddy, go do it now.
This flummoxes a lot of people, to be honest. A lot of people talk big about what they’d do with power and turn into deer in the headlights when they get it (see Bush, George W. and Goat, My Pet). I have some sympathy for Carson here. He’s not measurably crazier than anybody else in the race — he might even be less — and from his perspective, this is kind of ridiculous. John Kasich doesn’t have to answer for stuff he actually did as governor of his state, and we’re gonna hold Carson accountable for stories he made up about bar fights and shit?
He wasn’t counting on anybody taking him seriously. And now that they are, it’s all falling apart.