Ben Carson had a pretty awful debate performance during CNBC's marquee night. He couldn't properly explain his tax plan to CNBC's Becky Quick and then when asked how he would handle pharmaceutical price gouging from JIm Cramer, he said it's because there's too many government regulations. Huh?
But the real hilarity started when he was called to explain how a brain surgeon of his stature could be shilling for a company like Mannatech, which lost millions of dollars in a lawsuit because their claims to cure cancer and autism were proved false. His response was to deny any involvement in the company and attacked the host by calling those claims "propaganda."
The better use of the word propaganda should have been directed at the company he was hawking for since they got caught lying about their products.
A) He got paid to speak about the product.
B) He takes the product.
C) He loves the product
D) He's featured on their website.
What more does it take to have a relationship with a company?
Ben Carson said it’s "total propaganda" to suggest he had any connection to Mannatech, a maligned nutritional supplement company, when asked about it by moderator Carl Quintanilla.
"This is a company called Mannatech, a maker of nutritional supplements, with which you had a 10-year relationship," Quintanilla said. "They offered claims they could cure autism, cancer. They paid $7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in Texas, and yet your involvement continues. Why?"
"Well, that’s easy to answer: I didn’t have an involvement with them," replied Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon. "That is total propaganda. And this is what happens in our society -- total propaganda. I did a couple speeches for them. I did speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product."
As far as we can tell, Carson was not a paid employee or official endorser of the product. However, his claim suggests he has no ties to Mannatech whatsoever. In reality, he got paid to deliver speeches to Mannatech and appeared in promotional videos, and he consistently delivered glowing reviews of the nutritional supplements. As a world-renowned surgeon, Carson’s opinion on health issues carries weight, and Mannatech has used Carson’s endorsement to its advantage.
We rated Carson’s claim False
Politifact rated his denials as false, but what had me rolling on the floor was when he admitted to taking and loving the snake oil product that he was being paid to promote.
According to the state's enforcement action, Mannatech, under the direction of Caster and through its multi-level marketing network, exaggerated claims about the therapeutic benefits of its dietary supplements and nutritional products in order to increase sales. Marketing materials falsely claimed that Mannatech's dietary supplements could cure and treat Down Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, cancer and other serious illnesses.
Under state and federal law, drug manufacturers cannot claim their products cure, treat, mitigate or prevent illness unless the product has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a drug. Mannatech's products are supplements – not drugs – and they have not been approved as drugs by the federal regulatory agency. The state's enforcement action against Mannatech and Caster involves a referral from the Texas Department of State Health Services for violations of the Texas Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
He's a world renowned figure in the medical profession and the company he promoted lied about what their supplements can do and he still loves them?
Normally this would be a campaign killer for any politician, but since he claimed media bias over being asked tough questions about this serious issue, conservatives cheered him on.