The conventional view is that Ben Carson’s debate performance was a problem.
“Clinton would have him for lunch,” Dick Morris declared. “Carson combines the limited knowledge of government and budgeting of Sarah Palin with the soft voice of John McCain. Just as Obama ran all over McCain in the debates, so would Clinton run over Carson. But a lot worse.”
Carson’s laid-back style was noted by RealClearPolitics political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns: “Notably, the two frontrunners for the nomination stayed largely in the background. Trump and Carson, who’ve become rivals since the retired neurosurgeon’s recent gains in the polls against the real-estate mogul, didn’t attack each other. In fact, they didn’t really attack anyone. Instead, they appeared content watching their fellow competitors fight for attention on a national stage they have both dominated.”
After all, Dr. Carson spoke less than everyone (except a demoralized Jeb Bush and Rand Paul).
Count his co-frontrunner Donald Trump among the befuddled. “I’m surprised at Ben Carson, but I go after Ben Carson,” Trump told MSNBC before the CBS/New York Times poll showed Carson ahead 26 to 22 percent. “That’s my whole life. If somebody is an opponent, I want to win. Ben Carson is now doing well.”
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.