December 28, 2015

During the Fox Business GOP debate, Carson made an odd claim, saying the Chinese were in Syria. I wrote a lot about it here. He then refused to back down and dug himself into a deeper hole than before and MSNBC's Chris Jansing, did some good journalism, took it all apart.

Jansing: As a matter of fact Andrea, I got a look at three sets of papers the campaign is putting out to defend what he said and it's interesting...we were able to get them this morning. I'm quoting here "the Chinese are there," referring to Syria..."the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians," but now what they're saying in these papers that the media got it all wrong. That he never said the Chinese were physically there, but it was about their influence and about weapons that are sold.

And they had documents, some of them that were translated from Chinese on Google translate that said there had been sales of military weapons to Syria so, they're trying to push back on it. he's talking about these documents. We still don't have a good sense on who his advisers are.

Today, as Carson's poll numbers are turning him into this year's Michele Bachmann, told the Washington Post in a Q&A that he never should have brought in China during the debate.

Carson: In terms of missteps, I think that people simply can’t sometimes understand what I’m talking about. They say, “You couldn’t name any coalition members [to counter the Islamic State].” That’s absolutely absurd. What I was saying was that it’s the wrong question, who’s the first person you’re going to call. I was setting the stage for what you really needed to do. But everybody said, “Oh, he doesn’t know any of those countries down there.” That’s just craziness. As far as the China thing was concerned, I probably shouldn’t have said that. I said that on the basis of what some people in the CIA tell me. And of course, subsequent information came out that there is some Chinese [involvement in Syria]. But they made it seem like I’m saying there are a bunch of Chinese boots on the ground. Well, everybody knows that Chinese have physical characteristics that would make them pretty easy to identify in a setting like that. Give me a break. But they just jump on.

Carson did make it sound like China had boots on the ground in the debate, but that fact that he admitted it was an error is a sign that his campaign is on its last legs.

That's not to say that he'll stop grifting the rubes though.

Carson just completed a string of seven paid speeches that commanded fees worth as much as $500,000 in total.

Carson’s commitments included a May 11 speech to Save Our Youth, a nonprofit supporting at-risk kids with educational and emotional support. Carson reported on his disclosure forms a speaking fee was between $50,000 and $100,000 for the event, higher than any fees he reported receiving in the previous year and a half.

His next speech, on May 28, was delivered to the Abilene, Texas-based Meals on Wheels Plus at the same rate. The group’s executive director, Betty Bradley, said Carson’s appearance had been booked a year and a half ahead of time but that she was clearly informed not to ask him any questions about his campaign to avoid running afoul of federal rules. The even ended up raising about $200,000, about double what Bradley said she anticipated.“It was an overwhelming success,” she said. “We sold out and we ended up adding more tables. I had some people tell me that it was the best event they’d ever been to.”

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