Ben Carson’s West Point Lie Will Probably End His Chances at Becoming President

ben-carson-quotes-frownTo call GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s rise to one of the two overwhelming frontrunners for president an “enigma” would be an understatement. Aside from the evangelicals who clearly eat up his religious rhetoric, I can’t understand why anyone would think he’s even remotely qualified to be our next president. Even as a doctor he’s spread false information about Ebola, pushed blatantly misleading information about vaccines during a debate and believes that the theory of evolution is satanic.


As I joked with a buddy of mine, leave it to the GOP to find a brilliant neurosurgeon to run for president – who doesn’t seem to believe in science.

Not only that, but nearly everything the man says is a lie. Even his stories of adolescent violence and a Popeyes restaurant robbery have come under some rather intense scrutiny considering the odd nature of the details involved and the fact that, at least at this point, there’s almost no evidence of any of these events actually occurring. No childhood friend has come forward to corroborate his stories about his past, he says the family member he tried to stab has no desire to be made public and there’s no police record of any robbery taking place at a Popeyes during the time he says the event occurred.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s lying, but it has raised a few doubts about whether or not any of these stories are actually true. Carson himself doesn’t help matters any by often getting dismissive and condescending toward the media anytime he’s pressed to provide details or specifics about the fairly elaborate claims he’s repeatedly made.

Well, Carson better get ready to face even more scrutiny as Politico reported today that his story about getting accepted to West Point was all a lie:

The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.

A spokesperson for West Point, Theresa Brinkerhoff, told Politico that there’s absolutely no record of Carson ever applying for admission, let alone being offered a scholarship.

But this is all hearsay, right? Not exactly.


After being confronted with these facts, Politico got Carson’s campaign to admit he lied:

Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit. 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. He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors. They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.

In his book Gifted Hands, Carson recalled the details of the supposed meeting between the two.

“I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, we had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Vietnam were present,” Carson wrote. “More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Vietnam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt” — his high school ROTC director — “introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point.”

Notice he didn’t say he was offered an appointment, it says “offered a full scholarship.”

Again, unless he specifically applied for admission and went through the extremely rigorous vetting process – which he didn’t do – he would have never been offered a full scholarship to West Point.

But the issue here is that we now have confirmation that Carson has lied about pivotal moments in his past. That doesn’t bode well for a candidate who’s already under scrutiny for other stories from his past that seemingly have no evidence to support them. While I’m sure many of his supporters will dismiss the importance of this revelation, a presidential candidate lying about getting into West Point is a fairly big deal.

Besides, there are some things you just don’t do if you’re running for president and exaggerating about anything related to the military is one of them.

Of course, after this story has spread everywhere, Carson’s campaign is saying it’s an “outright lie.” Clearly that’s an act of desperation as it was West Point, not Politico, that debunked Carson’s claims that he was offered a full scholarship. If the Carson camp wants to claim this is a lie, they need to take that up with West Point, not the media.

I don’t see Carson’s campaign surviving this. Not only is the lie itself really bad (even many within the conservative media aren’t really defending him) but it only makes these other stories people have raised questions about recently seem even that more unbelievable.

Will he still have a decent chunk of support from people who don’t care? Of course he will. The truth is, many of those who support Ben Carson don’t care about facts or truth anyway – that’s why they support a candidate who rarely says anything factual. But this will impact his campaign enough, I think, to kill any momentum he has and erode his support enough to end any chance he had at winning the GOP nomination.




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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • noah vail

    will the bullshit from these people never end?

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      • psycho francis

        your neighbor’s mother is a whore

    • Progressive Republican

      No.

  • psycho francis

    what year do you think this is, 1979? you liberal media liars can’t libel conservative pols and get away with it anymore. we’re fighting back. your headline says this will end his bid. I bet just the opposite happens, his poll numbers will skyrocket.

    • Ellen H.

      It was in his book. Carson said it. He’s the one who is lying. Try actually reading the article.

      • psycho francis

        he said he lied? sorry, I missed that.

      • Ellen H.

        According to West Point there is no record of Carson applying or having been offered an appointment. Carson lied. Get over it.

      • psycho francis

        he never said he applied. he actually wrote in the book that he did not apply. so, what is the big scandal?

      • Ellen H.

        He said he was offered a scholarship. That doesn’t happen. A person applies; if the person is accepted he or she gets an appointment, not a scholarship. I’m not remotely military and I know it’s an appointment not a scholarship.

      • psycho francis

        so he lied because he believed he was offered a free ride and called it a scholarship instead of an “appointment”? that’s his sin? Jesus that’s weak. well, if the army wasnt giving out west point scholarships, somebody had better tell…the army. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3357453/posts

      • Ellen H.

        There was no record of it happening. Get over it. He also lied about stabbing a person and being a troublemaker in school.

      • psycho francis

        so if a general tells you at dinner he will get you into west point free, and it’s not on paper, it never happened. ok. you realize you’re gonna vote for a woman who sent an innocent man to jail to cover up for her Benghazi incompetence. I’m done.

      • Ellen H.

        I wondered how long it would take you to bring up Benghazi. It’s rather surprising that everyone is so upset about those four deaths but didn’t seem to care about the sixty people who died at embassies during Bush’s tenure. By the way, you’re voting for a man who thinks the pyramids were built for grain storage. I’m voting for Bernie.

      • psycho francis

        if politico is just repeating what he wrote in an old best selling book, what’s the story again????

      • Ellen H.

        That he misrepresented some things. Chill out. Let it go.

    • verafish

      Uh, it’s not libel to print what he really said.

      • psycho francis

        so he said he lied, that’s your position? cuz that’s the allegation.

      • Progressive Republican

        No, it is not.

      • psycho francis

        ok i guess the “campaign admits he lied” thing was something i dreamed.

      • Progressive Republican

        Do you understand the difference between the two phrases you’ve used; “he said he lied” and “campaign admits he lied“, because you’re not being consistent.

    • Paul Duca

      Low buck Boston bigot…

      • psycho francis

        sorry..i’m the guy sticking up for the minority against you racist bastards. you’re the bigot.

      • Paul Duca

        No…you’re sticking up for the Good Negro who hates all other minorities even more than you do.

    • ► Geesh, facts = libel? How’d you come up with that?

      • psycho francis

        “his campaign admitted he lied”. oh shit, they didn’t actually do that! and he didn’t actually lie!!

    • Michael Ames Connor

      Quick, go to Predictit and buy up as many Carson shares as you can! Currently selling for 12¢; since you “bet” that “his poll numbers will skyrocket”, you can sell later for a huge profit!

      https://www.predictit.org/Contract/565/Will-Ben-Carson-win-the-2016-Republican-presidential-nomination#data

      • psycho francis

        thanks i will do that. and i will remind you about it later, to thank you again after the fact.

      • Michael Ames Connor

        Would now be a good time to remind me??

    • Progressive Republican

      Sadly, you’re likely right. Extremists care little for nasty things like facts, logic, or reality so long as the ideological bullshit line remains toed for those like you. Your moniker says it all.