The White House today said that Ben Carson is not coming under harsher scrutiny than candidate Barack Obama eight years ago.
Carson gave a news conference Friday to hit back at press reports questioning details in his autobiography.
“I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running. In fact I remember just the opposite,” Carson said. “I remember people saying, ‘Oh, we won’t really talk about that. We won’t talk about that relationship. Well, Frank Marshall Davis, well, we don’t want to talk about that. Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, well he don’t really know him. All the things that Jeremiah Wright was saying, oh, not a big problem.”
Press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that those who “covered, you know, both the 2008 campaign and this campaign I think can obviously draw your own conclusions based on the work that all of you have done.”
“It’s not easy to run for president; it shouldn’t be. And that people when they make public comments are going to have their claims scrutinized, even if they’re claims about their own biography. And that’s a — that’s part of the process,” Earnest said.
“And it was difficult when those questions were raised about Senator Obama, it was particularly difficult when some of those claims were, or questions were — I guess in 2008, I recall a situation in which it was less the claims of President Obama that were being questioned and more that the claims about him were difficult to disprove, at least to the satisfaction of our harshest critics… one of whom is running for president.”
The press secretary continued that “what’s true now is a situation where you have Dr. Carson’s own claims that he has long been making and written about that are being subjected to scrutiny, and that’s an important part of the process.”
“It ensures that whoever emerges from this difficult process is somebody that’s capable of leading the country. But most importantly, it gives voters the opportunity to carefully consider the candidates views and their claims in depth before they have to go to the voting booth or show up at a caucus location,” he added.
Earnest said he thinks the questions Carson is facing now are appropriate, “but ultimately that’s for the American people to judge.”