It was supposed to be an easy question.
Morning Joe‘s Mike Barnicle cornered former Republican candidate Ben Carson on an aspect of Donald Trump‘s demeanor that has been troublesome to many. Carson — an experience doctor who has, as Barnicle pointed out, certainly worked with his fair share of grieving families — was asked to identify why Trump lacks any apparent empathy.
“In your career you’ve had to deal with many families,” said Barnicle. “I’m curious, why do you think Donald Trump finds it so difficult seemingly to speak to loss?” The question came on the heels of the controversy involving Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim American soldier, who Trump engaged in a feud with this week and has yet to apologize to.
Carson at first comedically didn’t understand the question. “To who? He speaks very well!”
“To loss,” the veteran columnist Barnicle clarified. “To lose a son. Or a daughter in combat. To loss. We just showed a clip of Donald Trump in Florida; [he] started talking about Gold Star families and quickly equated the Gold Star meaning to money — he had a check from a Gold Star family. Why do you think it’s so tough for him to speak to loss?”
“I don’t accept that it’s difficult for him,” said Carson, though when pushed further about it, he asserted, “He has done it,” though could not provide a single example. “If you go back and look carefully, you’ll see that.”
As he attempted to pivot the conversation, Mika Brzezinski and the Morning Joe panel held him accountable. “When?” she demanded to know. “I’m sorry, where? When?”
Brzezinski hammered Carson for his response, and she openly admitted, “The candidate I see is not the person I know,” referencing Trump’s selfless acts that she is personally aware of from years of knowing the man. “I feel that you’re speaking about someone but you don’t really have facts to back it up. You say he speaks to loss; tell us where, and tell us when.”
“Why don’t you talk about them?” offered Carson rather than answering the question. Eventually he gave a non-answer about the Islamic State, that clearly left Brzezinski unimpressed, who quickly shot the segment to commercial.
Watch the above interview segment via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.