Talk-radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh shredded Politico and accused the news site and mainstream media of coordinating an “assassination attempt” against Dr. Ben Carson on Friday.
In fact, Limbaugh went even further, calling the onslaught of attacks an “electronic lynching being conducted against the Republican African-American candidate by a majority-white mainstream American liberal media.”
In a damning accusation Friday, Politico claimed Carson’s campaign “admitted he did not tell the truth” about having been accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
A Carson spokesperson made a response to an inquiry by Politico into the veracity of a story in the surgeon’s autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” that the then-17-year-old was offered a full scholarship after a meeting in 1969 with Gen. William Westmoreland in 1969.
Politico reported West Point had no record of either Carson’s application or admission.
However, a Carson spokesman told the Daily Caller on Friday, “The Politico story is an outright lie.”
Doug Watts said, “The campaign never admitted to anything,” and Carson “[N]ever said he was admitted or even applied” to West Point.
Listen to Limbaugh’s statements on his Friday show:
The mainstream media went wild over the Politico story Friday, repeating the site’s claims.
“I want to show you how this works. I want to share with you some headlines that have run during the course of this program,” Limbaugh said, blasting Politico as a “liar,” and listing the following media reports Friday:
- Business Insider: “Ben Carson lied about his history with West Point”
- New York Daily News: “Ben Carson admits he lied about West Point scholarship, insists stories about troubled childhood are true”
- New York Times: “Ben Carson admits he was never accepted to West Point”
- Washington Post: “Why Ben Carson’s West Point scholarship claim made no sense from the beginning”
- CBS News: “Ben Carson’s campaign admits he never applied to West Point”
- USA Today: “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point story, report says”
- NBC News: “Ben Carson never applied to West Point, campaign says”
- Newsweek: “Ben Carson lied about acceptance into West Point”
- Fortune: “Ben Carson just admitted to a serious lie”
- Salon: “Ben Carson’s stealing valor: GOP hopeful admits to lying about West Point scholarship”
- Fox Business: “Carson campaign admits West Point story is false”
Several of the news outlets – including Politico – amended their original headlines with the Carson campaign called the Politico story “an outright lie.”
In a press conference late Friday, Carson ripped into combative reporters:
If you look at one of the websites that West Point has today, it says government offer for full scholarship to West Point. So they use that very language themselves. So almost 50 years ago, they may have been using that language as well.
They were very impressed with what I had done. I had become the city executive officer in less time than anybody else had ever done that. They were saying, “You would be a tremendous addition to the military, and we can get you into West Point with a full scholarship. I simply said, “I want to be a doctor. I really appreciate it. I’m very flattered.” And I moved on. So it didn’t go on any further than that. …
I think what it shows, and what these kinds of things show, is that there is a desperation on behalf of some to try to find a way to tarnish me because they have been looking through everything. They have been talking to everybody I’ve ever known, everybody I’ve ever seen, [saying], “There’s got to be a scandal. There’s got to be something. He’s having an affair, there’s gotta be something.” They are getting desperate. So next week it’ll be my kindergarten teacher who says that I peed in my pants. I mean, this is just ridiculous. But it’s OK because I totally expect it.
Dr. Carson explained that, as the top ROTC student in Detroit 50 years ago, he was invited to “a number of events because of my position.” In that role, he was invited to meet Gen. Westmoreland.
“That was also a time, as I recall, that several of the high brass told me that I would be somebody that they would be interested in in the military. It was an offer to me. I interpreted it as an offer. … They told me this was available to me because of my accomplishments and that they would be delighted for me to do it. And I told them immediately that my intention was to become a physician. It always has been, and I was very honored but I would not be pursuing that.”
Carson said he “made it clear” in his book that he, in fact, only applied to one college because he had just enough money for one application fee.
When relentlessly pressed about his childhood years, Carson told reporters, “My prediction is that all of you guys trying to pile on is actually going to help me, because, when I go out to these book signings and I see these thousands of people, they say, ‘Don’t let the media get you down. Don’t let them disturb you. Please continue to fight for us.’ They understand that this is a witch hunt. …
“Let me just say one thing. I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running. In fact, I remember just the opposite. I remember people just [saying], ‘Oh well, we won’t really talk about that. We won’t talk about that relationship. Well, Frank Marshall Davis, we don’t want to talk about that. Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, we don’t really know him. You know, all the things that Jeremiah Wright was saying, oh, not a big problem.’
“[Obama] goes to Occidental College, doesn’t do all that well, and somehow ends up at Columbia University. His records are sealed. Why are his records sealed? Why are you guys not interested in why his records are sealed? Why are you not interested in that? Let me ask you that. Can somebody tell me why? … Now you’re saying that something that happened with the words ‘a scholarship was offered’ was the big deal, but the president of the United States, his academic records being sealed is not? Tell me how there’s equivalence there.”
Carson told reporters he wouldn’t “sit back and let you be completely unfair without letting the American people know what’s going on.”
He added, “And the American people are waking up to your games.”
Watch Carson’s comments:
On his show, Limbaugh echoed Carson’s statements about the media: “Politico is totally lying. … He’s never misrepresented this. This is an assassination attempt. This piece today is a political assassination attempt following on the heels of that CNBC debate.”
He continued, “The United States mainstream media today attempted to politically end Ben Carson’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination by telling an outright lie and then accusing the campaign of lying and admitting to lying. This is horrible. It is despicable. It is infuriating. And I am telling you, it is this kind of thing that is causing a majority of Americans to reject the mainstream media, the establishment political structure of Washington and everything they have to do with.”
Limbaugh said the mainstream media used to get away with these tactics “when they had a monopoly,” and there were no alternative media around to correct the record.
“When the mainstream media set out to destroy you, this is exactly how it happened,” he said. “And they continue to do it, hoping to prove to themselves that they still have the ability to do it since their monopoly has been blown.”
Limbaugh said Carson is getting the same media treatment Clarence Thomas was forced to endure in 1991.
“I think what we have here is an electronic lynching,” he said. “We have an electronic lynching being conducted against the Republican African-American candidate by a majority-white mainstream American liberal media. If you’re not a good liberal and a good African-American on their plantation, they gonna take you out. …
“This is not character assassination; this goes way beyond character assassination. This is an attempt to destroy Carson’s reputation, his political future, his career, his credibility, all of it. This is intended to destroy him.”