- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Friday he’s come to expect attacks like the ones leveled at him by 2016 GOP rival Donald Trump a day earlier and that he’s not going to be dragged into a mudslinging contest.

“Well, you know, the wonderful thing is it’s not really up to me — it’s up to the people,” Mr. Carson told reporters in South Carolina.

Mr. Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, said people will be able to make their decision about whether they want to listen to the usual politics of personal destruction or deal with something different.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump questioned a story from Mr. Carson’s youth in which the retired doctor tried to stab someone, but ended up breaking his knife on the person’s belt buckle. Mr. Trump mimed the act at a campaign rally in Iowa and moved his belt around to try to show how unlikely Mr. Carson’s story was.

“How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?” Mr. Trump said.

Asked if he was offended by it, Mr. Carson said: “Let me put it this way: I expect that kind of thing.”

“That’s what’s been going on in our country for years that’s dragging us in the mud, and I don’t expect it to change anytime soon,” he said. “But I don’t have to get into it.”

“Well certainly, it wouldn’t be a pattern of behavior that I would adopt, but, you know, that’s the nice thing about … the extended political process like the one we have,” Mr. Carson said. “People will have an opportunity to look at all of us, to assess what kind of people we are and whether in fact they feel we would represent them well … it’s a good process.”

Mr. Trump also compared Mr. Carson’s self-described “pathological temper” to the pathology of a child molester, saying there’s no cure for it.

“It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper or temperament,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with CNN. “That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that…as an example: child molester. 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.”

Mr. Carson has said the knife incident did change his life and was a formative moment in shaping his faith.

“It’s not the kind of dialogue I would ever engage in, and I’m hopeful that maybe his advisers will come to understand the word pathological, and recognize that that does not denote ‘incurable’ — it’s not the same,” Mr. Carson said. “It simply is an adjective that describes something that is highly abnormal, and something that, fortunately, I’ve been able to be delivered from for half a century now.”

Mr. Trump continued the line of attack Friday, sharing a video on Instagram with foreboding music in the spirit of Friday the 13th that asks whether Mr. Carson is a “violent criminal” or a “pathological liar.”

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