- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson hit back at Bill Clinton after the former president stereotyped Donald Trump’s supporters as “rednecks” during a campaign event in Florida on Tuesday.

Mr. Clinton claimed Tuesday during a Fort Myers rally supporting his wife’s presidential campaign that Mr. Trump’s base “is what I grew up in.”

“You know, I’m basically your standard redneck,” the Arkansas native said. “I was the first person who ever went to college in my family.”

Mr. Carson, a Detroit-born retired neurosurgeon, said that statement simply isn’t true.

“I know a lot of people who are not rednecks who are ardent Trump supporters, including yours truly. I don’t think I’m a redneck,” he told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Wednesday morning.

Mr. Carson, who endorsed Mr. Trump after dropping out of the race in March, said this presidential election won’t be about Republicans vs. Democrats, but “the people vs. the political establishment,” The Washington Examiner reported.

“The political establishment consists of Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “And they identify with each other more so than they do with the people. I think a lot of people recognize that. That’s why two out of three Americans feel we are on the wrong track and need to change directions. It would be more than two out of three if Americans actually paid attention to what’s going on.”

“[Mr. Trump] loves our country and wants it to be successful. So that’s why I’m sticking by him. Plus, I recognize that the alternative is the continuation down the secular progressive pathway and America won’t be what it was meant to be, and I think that’s terrible,” Mr. Carson said.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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