- - Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

MILWAUKEE — After what the media has done to Ben Carson in recent weeks, thank goodness he is getting Secret Service protection. After all, the primary focus of the Secret Service is to thwart assassination attempts on high public figures.

For years, Mr. Carson has quietly run a subterranean national campaign, steadily courting and growing a giant and devoted fan base far outside the confines of normal political grass roots. By the time most of the politicians tossed their hats into the ring for president, Mr. Carson had already built an empire of support.

And since his campaign has been largely focused on the positive message of his own uplifting life story, Mr. Carson enjoys the highest positive ratings of any candidate in the field, in either party.

All of this was just fine and dandy as far as the Republican establishment was concerned, when they were still deep in the dark over Mr. Carson’s juggernaut campaign. They were surprised as anybody when he began quickly climbing in the polls. That they were so unaware of his growing popularity reveals how out of touch the establishment really is with actual, grass-roots voters.

Then, the unlikeliest of things happened. The quiet and unassuming Mr. Carson kept climbing in the polls until he reached the top and became the only candidate running for the Republican nomination capable of going toe to toe with real estate mogul Donald Trump.

That was when things got serious. That was when the opposition research leaks began. And nothing inspires investigative juices of lazy political reporters like free opposition research dumped by establishment campaigns.

First they accused him of lying in his book that as the top ROTC student at a Detroit Public School, a young Mr. Carson had been assured by his superiors of admission and free tuition at West Point.

Now they are accusing him of lying about whether he had a bad temper as a young man — a claim he described in his thrilling memoir, “Gifted Hands.” The media have even challenged Mr. Carson’s claim that he once — in a fit of rage — tried to stab a friend.

So we actually have a situation where a candidate for president is claiming he tried stabbing someone many decades ago and the media claiming it did not happen — all just so they can accuse one of the Republican front-runners of lying.

It is truly a sad state of affairs and high time the Secret Service take up protecting Mr. Carson from assassination attempts.

Charles Hurt can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter via @charleshurt.

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