Question: Did Carson lie about being offered a “full scholarship” to West Point?
Evidence (according to Politico):
1. In his book, “Gifted Hands,” Carson describes a 1969 meeting with Gen. William Westmoreland — fresh off four years of directing the U.S. military strategy in Vietnam — that Carson said resulted in being offered a “full scholarship” to West Point.
2. Carson’s campaign admitted that the former neurosurgeon not only fabricated the story of his acceptance into the prestigious military academy, but he never actually applied. This concession came after Politico obtained evidence from a West Point spokesperson that the academy has no record of Carson’s application or his admission — calling into question a key piece of the presidential hopeful’s personal history.
3. “Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the city of Detroit,” Barry Bennett, Carson’s campaign manager, told Politico. “In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC city executive officer. He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC supervisors,” Bennett continued in his email to Politico. “They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.”
My take on it: To a young individual who does not fully understand the appointment system to the U.S. service academies, being told by folks at West Point that they can help you obtain an appointment can certainly seem like you’re being told that you’ve been offered a scholarship. Obtaining an appointment, however, is only half the process. You must still be selected by board. If Carson was indeed the top ROTC student in the city of Detroit with high grades, however, then changes were high that he’d have been selected — IF he could obtain an actual appointment, which is NOT an easy accomplishment.
3. The West Point spokesperson told Politico it’s entirely possible that Westmoreland spoke to the 17-year-old Carson and perhaps encouraged the young ROTC student to consider applying to the academy. However, Politico questions whether that fabled encounter with the famous general even took place.
Although Politico tends to have a Republican tilt, it sounds to me like the media is seeking to shed light on the principle danger of electing Carson to the White House: He’s way out of his league. Whether or not he actually lied or was simply sharing his inexperienced perspective using terms he know is beside the point. He walked into this landmine. He’s a newbie stumbling along, ready to stumble headlong into numerous political traps. Is that the kind of leader our country needs in these dangerous times? Don’t get me wrong, as he is by no means “stupid,” and I do admire his religious convictions. The world of medicine, however, is not a suitable training ground for becoming the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Combined with his pension for refusing to see the Constitution for what it is, word for word, I really don’t think he’s the right man for the job.
Ben Carson just doesn’t have what it takes to navigate the tough political landscape of Washington D.C., much less the world at large.
Trump, on the other hand, does have what it takes, not only with respect to politics, but also with respect to business, and if you haven’t figured it out, yet, America survives and thrives on its global economic and business ties.