This Ben Carson Politico Story Is One of the Worst Spin Jobs of This Election

thumbs downOn Friday at 11:29 a.m., Politico published a hit piece about 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson entitled, "Ben Carson Admits Fabricating West Point Scholarship."

The story alleges Carson's campaign "admitted" to the publication he "fabricated" his scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which is detailed in his autobiography, "Gifted Hands." The story also suggests Carson lied about his "acceptance" into West Point.

But this Ben Carson Politico story is poor journalism.

Read the Carson campaign's response in full, which is detailed in the Politico piece - but, of course, is buried after the lead:

"Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit," campaign manager Barry Bennett wrote in an email to Politico. "In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can't remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson's performance as ROTC City Executive Officer."
"He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors," Bennett added. "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."

In response to the statement, Politico said: "When presented with these facts, Carson's campaign conceded the story was false."

That's quite a stretch...

Nowhere in this statement did Carson's campaign admit he fabricated his scholarship and acceptance into West Point.

Ben Carson Politico Story Debunked

Take a look at Carson's story about the scholarship from his memoir, "Gifted Hands":

"At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, we had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn't refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn't where I saw myself going."

According to his memoir, Carson was offered a "scholarship" to West Point, but he decided not to go. Also, it's important to note that West Point doesn't exactly offer scholarships. They give full rides to everyone who is accepted into the academy and agrees to serve in the military. That's exactly what Carson's campaign manager detailed in his email.

Carson, in all likelihood, was told that he wouldn't have to pay for his education and took that as seeming like a "full scholarship."

Follow me on Twitter @cgsaucier.

Tick, Tick, Tick: The Hillary Clinton email scandal could yet derail her campaign, which of late has looked virtually unstoppable. Since her strong performance in the Oct. 13 Democratic presidential debate, fate has smiled on the Clinton campaign. But that won't last forever...

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