*Dr. Ben Carson is finding himself involved with an internal conflict in his campaign for president.
People reports the drama stems from comments made by two of Carson’s aides who claim the retired neurosurgeon isn’t smart enough to have a good grasp on the issue of foreign policy. So much so that the aides admitted to The New York Times that Carson is struggling.
On Tuesday (Nov. 17), Carson spoke on the allegations during an appearance on “PBS NewsHour,” saying that he although he’s on a “steep learning curve” when it comes to foreign policy but said he knows “a lot more than I knew a year [ago], and a year from now, I’ll know a lot more than I know now.”
“In medicine we have something called continuing medical education,” he added. “You have to get those credits in order to be recertified. I think that applies to every aspect of our lives, particularly in a rapidly changing world.”
At the center of Carson’s response comments from Duane R. Clarridge, who admitted to the Times that the Republican presidential hopeful is need of weekly briefings on foreign policy in order to “make him smart.”
“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” said Clarridge, whom the publication described as “a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security.”
Naming Clarridge, Carson went on to deny that the former C.I.A. agent was his advisor and that he “has no idea who else I’m sitting down and talking to.”
“Mr. Clarridge has incomplete knowledge of the daily, not weekly briefings, that Dr. Carson receives on important national security matters from former military and State Department officials … Mr. Clarridge’s input to Dr. Carson is appreciated but he is clearly not one of Dr. Carson’s top advisors,” Carson’s campaign spokesman Doug Watts told Business Insider.
Despite Carson’s denial of Clarridge and his remarks, the accusations could carry a bit of weight, in light of Carson not being able to name even one ally of the U.S. that he would work with to fight ISIS during an interview with ”Fox News Sunday.
The realization hits especially hard, considering that Carson previously suggested that an international coalition be created to go up against ISIS.
“I wasn’t interested in answering that question. Because I’ve learned that if I say, ‘I would call Egypt first’ or ‘I would call Israel first’ or ‘I would call Jordan first’ or whoever I said I would call first then the next thing would be, ‘Well, why would you not call this one first?’ I know how that works, and that’s just silly,” the politician told “PBS NewsHour.” “What I sort of object to is these soundbite answers that people can then pull apart and say, ‘See, he doesn’t know anything.’ ”
Clarridge isn’t the only one finding fault with Carson and his lack of knowledge on foreign policy. President Barack Obama took a shot at him last week, stating that Carson “doesn’t know much” about fighting ISIS.