Republican candidate Ben Carson is having problems understanding foreign policy issues, says Miami Herald, quoting sources from his inner circle. But it looks like the former surgeon is looking to improve his knowledge about the subject and is receiving weekly briefings.
Armstrong Williams, Carson’s longtime business manager, stated on Tuesday that Carson is struggling to comprehend the complexities of foreign policy. “I’d say he’s 75 percent of the way there. The world is a complex place, and he wants to get it right.”, said Williams, according to the same source. Former CIA official, Duane R. Clarridge, told New York Times on Tuesday that Carson’s problems understanding foreign policy issues are bigger than expcted, despite intense weekly briefing.
Carson is still not completely ready to deal with foreign policy issues
“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East”. Hearing about this allegations, Carson’s staff enabled a statement calling Clarridge “an elderly gentleman” who isn’t part of Carson’s inner circle. “He is coming to the end of a long career of serving our country. Mr. Clarridge’s input to Dr. Carson is appreciated, but he is clearly not one of Dr. Carson’s top advisers,” said Carson spokesman Doug Watts, according to Miami Herald.
Maybe Clarridge isn’t Carson’s “friend”, but Williams is well-known as one of the Republican candidate’s closest confident and even he admits that Carson’s advisers are losing hope when it comes to former surgeon’s capacity of digesting foreign policy issues. “I know they’re frustrated. They know that Dr. Carson is bright. He understands. … There’s just so much there.”, said Williams in an interview for The Associated Press.
Ben Carson isn’t afraid to admit things, as we’ve seen fron his backstories, and this problem isn’t the exception. Carson said on Tuesday during a satellite interview with WHO-TV in Des Moines that he is treating his foreign policy education like medical education. “It’s an ongoing process. In medicine we have something called CME — continuing medical education — that recognizes that you never become a know it all, you always are continuing to learn.”
His mistakes won’t go away unnoticed
But newspapers will still write about Carson’s foreign policy understanding problems if he continues to make mistakes like he did on Sunday, during his appearance on Fox News. Carson then suggested that China is militarily engaged in the Syrian civil war and offered sometimes sinous answers to host Chris Wallace. The Republican candidate hesitated when Wallace asked him about possible U.S allies against a fight with Islamic State militants.
But Williams came to his help during the AP interview, saying that is scandalous to claim that Carson doesn’t know existing of potential U.S allies and that the former surgeon is not less capable than his rivals when it comes to foreign policy issues. “Of course he knows the answer to that question. Sometimes it’s a matter of style, not substance. I don’t know anybody on that stage who has extensive experience in foreign affairs. They depend on researchers. They depend on staff. They all depend on talking points.”