Ben Carson Concedes He Wasn’t Admitted To West Point, Lied In Autobiography
Ben Carson falsely claimed that he was offered a full scholarship to West Point in his 1996 autobiography Gifted Hands.
Ben Carson Lied About Being Admitted To West Point
Carson, one of the many GOP presidential hopefuls, claimed in Gifted Hands that he was offered a full ride to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after being a standout ROTC student at a Detroit high school. But the claim is a fabricated one, according to Politico. Carson never, applied, got accepted or was formally offered a scholarship to the academy, reports the outlet.
“I was offered a full scholarship to West Point,” Carson wrote in Gifted Hands, explaining that General William Westmoreland had handpicked him following Detroit’s Memorial Day Parade in 1969. “I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going. As overjoyed as I felt to be offered such a scholarship, I wasn’t really tempted.”
In his writing, Carson failed to note that West Point doesn’t exactly offer full scholarships in the general sense of the term. However, upon admission into the academy, all costs for students are covered. Since Carson neither applied nor was accepted into the school, his claim is a brazen exaggeration.
“In 1969, those who would have completed the entire process would have received their acceptance letters from the Army Adjutant General,” Theresa Brinkerhoff, a spokeswoman for the academy, told Politico. “If he chose to pursue (the application process), then we would have records indicating such.”
In response to the accusations about Carson’s untruths is his memoir, his campaign manager Barry Bennett acknowledged that the neurosurgeon had not sought admission to West Point.
“He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors,” Bennett told 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.”
“There are ‘Service Connected’ nominations for stellar High School ROTC appointments. Again he was the top ROTC student in Detroit. I would argue strongly that an Appointment is indeed an amazing full scholarship. Having ran several Congressional Offices I am very familiar with the Nomination process,” Bennett added Friday. “Again though his Senior Commander was in touch with West Point and told Dr. Carson he could get in, Dr. Carson did not seek admission.”
Carson has faced a rough week in the media, as after surging in the polls the surgeon’s campaign has been under increasing scrutiny. Reports have come out doubting his narrative about overcoming a near-homicidal temper, and his claims that the Biblical Joseph built the Pyramids of Giza to store grain have been much derided.
In regard to the suggestion of mendacity about his personal history, Carson has cried foul.
“This is a bunch of lies, that is what it is,” Carson said on CNN’s New Day. “This is a bunch of lies attempting to say I’m lying about my history, I think it’s pathetic, and basically what the media does is they try to get you distracted.”
Meanwhile, Carson’s closest competitor in the Republican primary race – Donald Trump – couldn’t be happier to see the doctor’s potential fall from grace.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2015