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With Carson on the defense, Trump pounces

<p>Donald Trump tried to escalate a fight he picked with Ben Carson by comparing his past “pathological temper” to that of a child molester, releasing another taunting video Friday morning that portrayed him either as a liar or violent criminal.</p><p>Carson’s response: Let’s move on.</p><p>&quot;Now that he’s completed his gratuitous attack, why don’t we press on and deal with the real issues?” Carson asked as he kicked off a news conference late Friday morning.</p><p>The retired neurosurgeon is trying to show more discipline, a week after losing his cool during a press conference as media attacked various parts of narrative of personal redemption, including his claims that he tried to stab a friend, attacked his mother with a hammer, and was later offered a full scholarship to West Point after he turned to God.</p><p>Carson’s biography is central to his presidential pitch, especially because he has no political experience and has offered up puzzling policy statements, including shifting positions on what should happen with Medicare and a claim that he has better access than the White House to intelligence that shows that China is in Syria. </p><p>And when Trump sniffs out a vulnerability, he pounces. With Carson eclipsing Trump in some state and national polls, the billionaire businessman went for an especially low blow on Thursday evening, telling CNN that Carson’s &quot;pathological temper&quot; was similar to that of child molesters.</p><p>&quot;That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that … as an example: child molesting,&quot; he said. &quot;You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.&quot;</p><p>He doubled down with a 9-minute rant on Carson during his rambling 95-minute monologue in Iowa on Thursday night, saying the people of Iowa have to “stupid” to believe his past claims and delivering a theatrical rendition of how a belt buckle could not thwart a stabbing. &quot;And I don’t want a person that’s got pathological disease, I don’t want it. Now, I’m not saying he’s got it. He said it,&quot; he clarified. &quot;This isn’t something I’m saying — he’s a pathological liar, I’m not saying it. He said he’s got pathological disease.”</p><p>Friday morning, he wasn’t letting up, releasing a Friday the 13th-themed video on Instagram with footage of Carson talking about his past claims of physical violence, and then cutting to a former neighbor who discredits the account. The video closes with on-screen text asking, &quot;VIOLENT CRIMINAL?,&quot; followed by, &quot;OR PATHOLOGICAL LIAR?&quot; &quot;WE DON’T NEED EITHER AS PRESIDENT,&quot; the next slide reads.</p><p>Carson, eager to right his campaign after a barrage of criticism about his biographical narrative and his policy positions, is refusing to fan Trump’s flames.</p><p>&quot;It’s not the kind of dialogue that I would ever engage in, and I’m hopeful that maybe his advisers will help him to understand the word pathological,&quot; the doctor told reporters who asked him repeatedly on Friday about Trump’s attacks.</p><p><br />The retired neurosurgeon noted that the word &quot;pathological&quot; does not mean it is incurable. &quot;It is simply an adjective that describes something that is highly abnormal,&quot; he said, adding that he had been free of &quot;pathological&quot; anger for a half-century.</p><p>Asked if he expected an apology for the comparison to a child molester, Carson used it as an opportunity to scold the press, inviting them to ask Trump instead. “I always find it a little amusing what people in the press like to say. You compared this, therefore you said the same, I don’t buy all that stuff,&quot; he said.</p><p>It wasn’t the only controversy Carson fielded questions about. </p><p>Asked about his comment that China has a military presence in Syria, Carson responded that the White House’s denial this week indicates that their intelligence is not as good as what he has.</p><p>“We actually will be releasing some material on that before the weekend is over,&quot; he explained. &quot;I have several sources that I’ve got material from. I’m surprised that my sources are better than theirs.”</p><p>As far as his business relationship with the dentist Alfonso Costa, Carson dismissed scrutiny, calling him &quot;one of the most honest people that I’ve ever met in my entire life, but I don’t think that case needs to be relitigated in public.”</p><p>The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Carson and his wife have kept millions invested with Costa, who was convicted in 2007 for health care, a contrast from his &quot;Saudi Arabia Plan&quot; in his 2013 work &quot;America the Beautiful&quot; in which he mentioned how people who steal in the kingdom get their fingers removed.</p><p>&quot;I would not advocate chopping off people’s limbs, but there would be some very stiff penalties for this kind of fraud, such as loss of one’s medical license for life, no less than 10 years in prison and loss of all of one’s personal possessions,&quot; Carson wrote, according to the AP, though Costa received house arrest and probation after Carson interceded with a judge on his behalf.</p><p>And when asked how he felt about Trump telling an Iowa crowd that the state would &quot;have to be stupid&quot; to believe parts of his story of personal redemption, Carson said he expected these sorts of attacks, again declining to return fire with the Manhattan mogul.</p><p>The people must decide whether they want to hear &quot;the usual politics of personal destruction,&quot; he remarked, indicating his weariness with the level of political rhetoric in the United States that he said he &quot;did not expect … to change anytime soon.&quot;<br /></p><br>

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