Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Sunday said he would not want someone such as Donald Trump to be commander in chief.
Mr. Carson said Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, acted rashly last week when he immediately gave credence to news reports that Mr. Carson had fabricated parts of his life story as told in the book “Gifted Hands,” which chronicled his rise from severe poverty in a Detroit ghetto to become an acclaimed neurosurgeon.
Mr. Tump tweeted that the reports exposed “one of many lies” by Mr. Carson and called it the “beginning of the end” of the Carson campaign.
“It’s been proven that it wasn’t a lie. And none of the things are lies,” Mr. Carson said on ABC’s “This Week.” “What does it say about people who immediately jump on the bandwagon when they hear something bad rather than waiting and finding out what the truth is?”
“What does it say?” said host George Stephanopoulos.
“Let me put it this way,” Mr. Carson said. “I would not be anxious to have a commander in chief who acted that way.”
Mr. Carson has remained Mr. Trump’s closest rival in the polls for weeks.
The news reports raised questions about Mr. Carson’s claims that he was offered a scholarship to West Point and whether he tried to stab a classmate in a schoolyard brawl. Mr. Carson has fiercely defended all of the details of his life story.
Mr. Trump, who followed Mr. Carson on the show, said that the stories of violence from Mr. Carson’s childhood were disturbing, whether true or fabricated.
“Look, I hope it all works out for him. It’s a strange situation, though, when you talk about hitting your mother in the head with a hammer and hitting your friend in the face with a padlock, when you talk about stabbing somebody but the [belt buckle] saved them,” Mr. Trump said.
In the book and in speeches, Mr. Carson has told about how he overcame a violent temper and became a successful student and doctor.
“It’s a weird deal going on,” said Mr. Trump. “And I hope it all works out, because I don’t want to see Ben have problems over this stuff and, you know, it is a very strange situation.”
Mr. Trump also took a jab at Mr. Carson for describing his violent temper as a “pathology” in the book, which Mr. Carson cowrote.
“He said he had pathological disease. When you have pathological disease, that is a very serious problem. That’s not something that is cured,” said Mr. Trump. “That is something that you have to live with. And that is a very serious thing to have to live with.”