During an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Donald Trump went after fellow presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, who Trump accused of attacking him first last night, and challenged his record on abortion, his faith and believe it or not, his credentials as a doctor.
Trump was asked, “Ben Carson, he’s also making a lot of traction. He’s feeling good about himself, enough that he’s coming at you. He is a man of faith, everybody knows that, it’s a cornerstone of his existence, and certainly his motivation to run.”
Trump then cut in, “I don’t know that. I mean, I hadn’t heard that. You know, I’ve known Ben Carson — of him, for a long time, I never heard faith was a big thing, until just recently when he started running. So, I don’t know about Ben Carson’s faith, and of all of a sudden he becomes this great religious figure. I don’t think he’s a great religious figure. And I saw him yesterday quoting something, he was quoting on humility, and it looked like he had just memorized it about two minutes before he made the quote. So, you know, don’t tell me about Ben Carson.”
Trump explained that Carson “hit” him, so he is hitting back, while praising himself as “a great counter-puncher.”
Watch the full interview below (Ben Carson comments come in at the 7:50 mark):
Trump said that Carson “makes Bush look the Energizer Bunny” because the retired surgeon is “very low-key” and then called his views on abortion “horrendous” without going into details except for advising Cuomo to “go back and look at his views on abortion.”
He took it further by bragging about his lead in the polls. “And that’s, I think, why I’m leading with all the Evangelicals. I’m — as you know in your poll, number one, I’m leading Ben Carson by a lot. … I’m almost double his numbers.”
Trump then called the retired neurosurgeon an “okay doctor”:
“I’ve met him a few times, but I don’t know Ben Carson. He was a doctor, perhaps, you know, an okay doctor, by the way, you can check that out, too. We’re not talking about a great — he was an okay doctor. He was just fine… And now, because he’s a doctor, and he hired one nurse, he’s going to end up being the president of the United States?
But, for him to criticize me on my faith is absolutely — and for him to read from the Bible, in his memory, it looked like he memorized it about two minutes before he went on stage. But, Ben Carson is not going to be your next president, that I can tell you.”
Carson graduated from John Hopkins, and at age 32, he became the youngest major division director in the hospital’s history as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery — a position he would hold for the next 29 years.
Carson was a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics.
In 1987, Carson made medical history by successfully separating a pair of Siamese twins. A 70-member surgical team, led by Dr. Carson, worked for 22 hours on the Binder twins, who were born joined at the back of the head, before
Operations to separate twins joined in this way had always failed, resulting in the death of one or both of the infants. At the end, the twins were successfully separated and can now survive independently.
Carson’s other surgical innovations have included the first intra-uterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin, and a drastic surgery procedure, Hemispherectomy, which stops severe epilepsy in infants.
In 2000, Carson received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out by Jefferson Awards, and in 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Furthermore, Trump got in hot water for a quote found in a Rolling Stone magazine profile of Trump published the day before where the Republican real-estate mogul tore into presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
“Look at that face! … Would anyone vote for that?” Trump was quoted asking while watching Fiorina on the news. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not [supposed to] say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
When Cuomo asked for his comment, Trump told Cuomo that he was not “talking look,” but rather “talking persona.” He then proceeded to go after Fiorina’s business record when she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard, calling her a “disastrous CEO.”
When Cuomo advised Trump to cool it down with the attacks on his fellow Republican candidates, saying “the idea of returning a blow every time you receive one — you know that doesn’t work in any high-level situation,” Trump responded with a backhanded compliment to the viewership of Cuomo’s “New Day” show on CNN.
“Well I’m a believer. Perhaps you’re not. Maybe that’s why your show isn’t doing as well as it should be, because you really have a better show than them,” he said.
“That’s not nice,” Cuomo replied. “That’s not nice. You’re attacking me for asking you a question. See, that’s my point. That’s not what the president does.”