WASHINGTON — Ben Carson’s campaign is in “free fall,” Donald Trump says, and he’s giving himself credit.
Trump told a crowd in Newton, Iowa on Thursday that he believed Carson’s campaign was in serious trouble after the retired neurosurgeon has struggled to answer questions on foreign policy.
“Is his campaign gonna go into free fall now that it’s been exposed how little he knows?” asked one man.
“I think it is in free fall, I think, if you look over the last week and a half, two weeks,” Trump told a questioner who encouraged him to analyze Carson’s political fortunes. “Maybe I helped it along by making a speech two weeks ago.”
Trump was referring to his 95-minute tirade last week in which he said voters in Iowa who support Carson are “stupid” to believe the “crap” that is his life story.
On Thursday, Trump repeatedly ridiculed Carson for what the real estate mogul said were inconsistencies in his life story, including an incident in which Carson says that in his youth he tried to stab someone, only to have his knife broken by the intended victim’s belt buckle. The Republican presidential front-runner repeated his belief that Carson’s explanation is implausible.
Trump also continued to express bewilderment that Carson was succeeding in Iowa, where polls released last month showed the retired neurosurgeon leading Trump handily.
“You have him doing pretty well in the polls — not me,” he told the crowd.