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Ben Carson's Fact-Free Flip-Flop On Minimum Wage

We see what you did there, Dr. Carson.

This moment in Tuesday's debate is a fine example of exactly why Ben Carson's character is fair game for media to challenge. He lies about all manner of things, embellishes, and half the time doesn't even know what the heck he's talking about.

In May, Ben Carson said he'd support an increase in the minimum wage. Today, it's an entirely different story, with fake figures to bolster his claim.

"As far as the minimum wage is concerned," answered Carson, "People need to be educated on the minimum wage. Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases."

Which is, of course, an outright lie.

"It's particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have a job, who are looking for one. You know, that -- and that's because of those high wages. If you lower those wages, that comes down," Carson continued.

Again, not true. The actual unemployment figure for Black teens was 20.7 percent, according to an August, 2015 report. That's still too high, but it's nowhere near the 80.2 percent rate Carson claimed.

This is the third time Carson has flip-flopped on the minimum wage, according to The Daily Beast.

In May of this year, Carson said that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour was too low.


By September, Carson’s stance changed again.

During the second GOP debate, the political novice suggested that the minimum wage should abide by a two-tiered system.

And now we have the answer that the minimum wage should not be raised at all, for number three.

Predictably, Carson spokesman Doug Watts was waiting in the wings to rehabilitate Carson on his answer, and the spin was exactly what you might expect, given the other stories they've spun this past week.

"I think the question got off track," Watts emailed. "Dr. Carson has said and believes in a two-tier minimum wage. His answer focused on the lower tier, which he does not believe needs raising, as it is an entry-level wage. He believes in a second, higher tier that once determined, is indexed."

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Which is not what Ben Carson said. He said it plainly, too.

CAVUTO: So, sir, just to be clear, you would not raise it?

CARSON: I would not raise it. I would not raise it, specifically because I'm interested in making sure that people are able to enter the job market and take advantage of opportunities.

Just like every other story for the past week or so, here's yet another where the spokesman has to spin the teeny little grain of truth into an explanation that's so twisted it's Orwellian.

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