Ben Carson has been caught in a lie so huge his campaign can't even spin it, instead having to just admit that yes, it's an outright lie.
Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
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.
“In 1969, those who would have completed the entire process would have received their acceptance letters from the Army Adjutant General,” said Theresa Brinkerhoff, a spokeswoman for the academy. She said West Point has no records that indicate Carson even began the application process. “If he chose to pursue (the application process) then we would have records indicating such,” she said.
When presented with this evidence, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.
In the word of Rick Perry, "Oops."
Now Carson is trying to lie about the lie, saying his campaign didn't admit anything. I suspect that is because even right-wing media isn't pleased with him lying about something as sacred as the United States military.
Oh look, here's Erick Erickson, claiming it's more nuanced than that.
In 2013, he said he was offered a scholarship to West Point. The Politico story centers on Carson claiming he “applied and was accepted.”
It is true, Carson never applied and was never accepted to West Point.
The Politico’s representation of that is demonstrably false and is not something Carson claimed.
However, Carson has said several times he was offered a scholarship to West Point. That also appears to be not true, but Carson has some wiggle room here.
Carson says this came up in a meeting with General Westmoreland. It is possible that Carson simply misunderstood Westmoreland.
Not to be defending Politico here, but spinning this so that a central theme of Ben Carson's heroic life story is just a misunderstanding seems like a stretch so far the rubber band snapped.