In what could be a bigger blow to his biography than potentially lying about stabbing a guy, Politico reports that Ben Carson’s campaign has admitted he lied about being offered a scholarship to West Point. This could be the end for him.
The West Point scholarship is, like the stabbing, another pivotal moment in Carson’s biography Gifted Hands; in the book, he claims to have met General William Westmoreland when he was 17, had dinner with the man, and been offered a free ride to the school afterwards. He claims he declined in order to pursue his dream of becoming a surgeon instead.
Politico reports that Carson’s people have acknowledged none of that happened, except perhaps the part about having dinner. A West Point spokeswoman said they had “no record” of Carson ever applying to the academy or being accepted there. From Politico:
When presented with this evidence, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.
“Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit,” campaign manager Barry Bennett wrote in an email to POLITICO. “In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer.”
“I once met a guy at a dinner and we talked for a sec” is not the same thing as “I dined personally and privately with four-star General William Westmoreland, who offered me a place a prestigious scholarship.”
Carson’s campaign: setting new velocity records for both brief ascent and swift, dizzying descent.
Carson at a campaign stop in Lakewood, Colorado, October 29, 2015. Photo via AP Images