As polls show Ben Carson catching – and even surpassing – Donald Trump, the brash businessman’s attacks against his closest challenger have intensified. His remarks could backfire for being redundant, vague and hypocritical.
While Trump has been known for direct and personal verbal lobs against his opponents in the campaign, this is the first time he has found himself faced with another outsider who has risen above him in some recent key polls. And his strategy so far has yet to have any impact on Carson as the former pediatric neurosurgeon has refused to take the bait.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday, Trump was quick to question Carson’s appeal, insisting that under scrutiny, it won’t continue. A “a lot of things will come out” about Carson’s record, Trump said.
Trump challenged Carson’s strict anti-abortion position, which Trump said wasn’t always the same.
“Ben was pro-abortion not so long ago as everybody has told me,” Trump said.
“It’ll never last.”
“Wait until people find out what he’s really all about.”
“He used to be liberal on [insert issue here]!”
These are all things Trump detractors have been saying since his first meteoric shot to the top of the national polls. Now Trump himself is throwing versions of all them at the one man who has been able to supplant him in many of those polls, especially in Iowa.
The other similarity is that these allegations are rolling off of Carson and not hurting him at all, as has been the case with Trump most of the last two months.
Many are saying Carson has traction simply because evangelical Christians love him. The evangelicals are also keeping Huckabee in the prime-time debates and Santorum afloat, albeit barely. If they’re solely responsible for Carson’s success, there are a LOT of them out there.
It is more likely that the anti-establishment sentiment is even stronger than those of us who are anti-establishment realize.
Carson is wise to not get into the Trump Taunt du jour too, as that hasn’t given anyone much of a bump.
If there is one thing that can be said for sure about this race, it’s that there isn’t anything that can be said for sure.