Yes, you read the headline correctly: mild-mannered presidential candidate Ben Carson got very combative and angry during an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.
The confrontation began when Camerota played a clip of Carson joking that “many” Americans were stupid, and asked who he thought were stupid. Carson responded that those who wanted to keep Americans dependent on federal programs were the “stupid” ones as far as he was concerned.
“So, just to be clear, people who support food stamps or Medicaid or welfare…”
“I didn’t say that, now you’re trying to put words into my mouth,” Carson cut in. “Why don’t you listen to what I just told you?”
“It sounds like what you’re saying are liberals…” she pressed.
“I can’t believe that you used to work on Fox News!” an exasperated Carson said.
Camerota used that to pivot to another Carson quote, in which he said “we’d be Cuba” if there were no Fox News. Camerota praised her former network, but asked Carson: “You mean that if Fox News didn’t exist, we would be a communist country?”
“No. Again, there you go with sensationalism,” he said angrily. “That’s what you try to do. You hope somehow that will resonate with people who don’t think for themselves. I’ve got news for you, people are a lot smarter than you think they are, and they know exactly what I’m talking about.”
“Dr. Carson, you said it!” Camerota said in her defense. “Dr. Carson, I’m quoting — I’m not even quoting you, I’m playing your words. You are the person who said there are a lot of people who are stupid and without Fox News, we would be Cuba.”
“Are you honestly telling me that you didn’t know what I was talking about when I said that? Are you honestly telling me? If you are, you might fit in that category,” he said bluntly.
For the next ten minutes, the interview turned into a slugfest, with Camerota challenging Carson on his comments and Carson accusing Camerota of bias and taking his quotes out of context. The interview finally ended with some semblance of courtesy, when Camerota promised that she would ask equally probing questions of Hillary Clinton.
Watch the full 3-part interview above, via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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