Busted: Ben Carson Actually Did Say Obamacare Worse Than 9/11

Conservative prayer-brawler and retired brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson is locked in a weird meta-media Mortal Kombat with Daily Beast writer Evan Gahr, who published an interview in which Dr. Carson says that Obamacare is worse than 9/11.
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Conservative prayer-brawler and retired brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson is locked in a weird meta-media Mortal Kombat with Daily Beast writer Evan Gahr, who published an interview in which Dr. Carson says that Obamacare is worse than 9/11.
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Conservative prayer-brawler and retired brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson is locked in a weird meta-media Mortal Kombat with Daily Beast writer Evan Gahr, who published an interview in which Dr. Carson says that Obamacare is worse than 9/11 because "9/11 is an isolated incident." Dr. Carson hasn't actually denied he said it, or even that he thinks it, but has instead tweeted an article in which an "aide" denies that he said it, or thought it, or maybe he said it but didn't think it. It's confusing.

According to Gahr, here's how the conversation, which took place in Armstrong Williams' radio studio during a break in the show, went:

“You said Obamacare was the worst thing since slavery. Why do you think it was worse than 9/11?” I asked him.

“Because 9/11 is an isolated incident,” he answered.

...Me: “Who do you think caused families more pain—Obamacare or Osama bin Laden?”

Carson: “Let me explain.”

Williams: “Let him answer the question!”

Carson: “Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift.”

Me: “Right. But what do you think caused specific families more pain—Obamacare or Osama?”

Carson: “You have to take a long term.”

Me: “You’re not answering the question.”

Carson: “Will you listen? You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America. You have to be someone who reads. Who is well-read. I want you to go back tonight and pull out what Saul Alinsky says about health care under the control of the government.”

Dr. Carson's comments have created a stir among liberals, and while they are genuinely offensive, it's hard for me to get worked up over it, given Carson's history. He's made a career out of making absurd comparisons, then sometimes backing away from them, while also sort of still making them. Whether it's slavery and Obamacare, or gay marriage and bestiality/child rape, or a prayer breakfast and a Hannity segment, Carson has made offensive comparisons a way of life.

A far better use of my time would seem to be to pitch someone like Dr. Carson as a recurring character on Saturday Night Live, because lord knows they need a fresh one.

"No, I'm not going to Nathan's birthday party, the last one was like the Red Wedding. People were literally being stabbed in the wombal area and shot with arrows."

"Waitress, this soup is exactly like cyanide. I am currently convulsing so hard, I've broken my back, and I will soon be dead."

"Ugh. Don't put on Two and a Half Men, that show's worse than According to Jim."

What's really weird about this iteration, though, is Carson's backpedal strategy, which is not to deny he said or meant it, but to say that another guy says he didn't say or mean it. On Dr. Carson's Twitter feed, he hasn't bothered to deny any of it himself, instead tweeting this:

That link goes to a Daily Caller article in which Armstrong Williams claims Gahr's piece was "misleading," and that Carson was only mocking Gahr by repeating him. That's a strange technique for a brain surgeon to employ, at least beyond the third grade. Gahr, however, stood by his reporting:

“Williams, who like Carson got rich and famous by being a beleaguered black conservative, should take heed of my grandmother Ruth Goldstock’s adage that if you are going to lie you need a good memory,” Gahr said in an email. “I asked Carson why he thought 9/11 was worse than Obamacare and he proceeded to explain in great detail why he believed that to be the case–namely ‘because’ 9/11 was merely an ‘isolated’ occurrence.”

Gahr has now also posted audio of the exchange, which backs up Gahr's account, and leaves Armstrong Williams holding the bag. Since Carson never actually denied it, because he had, in fact, supplied it, only Williams is now technically a liar. He's like Jean Valjean meets Dr. Richard Kimball.

“You said Obamacare was the worst thing that has happened to this coutry since slavery. Why do you think it was worse than 9/11?” I asked him.
“Because 9/11 is an isolated incident,” he answered.

Me: “Who do you think caused families more pain—Obamacare or Osama bin Laden?”

Carson: “Let me explain.”

Williams: “Let him answer the question!”

Carson: “Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United States of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift.”

Me: “Right. But what do you think caused specific families more pain—Obamacare or Osama?”

Carson: “You have to take a long term.”

Me: “You’re not answering the question.”

Carson: “Will you listen? You have to take a long-term look at the ascent of something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America. You have to be someone who reads. Who is well-read. I want you to go back tonight. I want you to pull out what Saul Alinsky says about health care under the control of the government.”