Carson’s relationship with Mannatech, a medical-supplement operator that uses misleading claims to exploit Christian customers, may provide the most revealing window into his methodology. […] If you have the facts in mind — Carson maintained an extensive relationship with the company — when you watch this answer, his unflinching dishonesty has a chilling quality. He is a perfect con artist. – Jonathan Chait [New York Magazine]
IT HAS been underneath the radar so far, but with Marco Rubio rising in the New Hampshire polls, and the establishment desperate to find their man, Rubio’s financial dance while in the Florida House is getting renewed attention. Donald Trump is talking about it constantly, which means everyone is hearing about it. Scrutiny is also coming to Hillary Clinton via Reince Priebus, although few things are more delicious than Ben Carson‘s lies about his relationship with Mannatech, with conservative Jim Geraghty not letting go of it.
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) November 3, 2015
Rubio news from TampaBay.com
As speaker of the Florida House, Rubio was one of about a half-dozen lawmakers given Republican Party of Florida credit cards. During the Senate race, the Times/Herald obtained Rubio’s statements from 2006 and 2007, showing he routinely charged personal expenses, from a $10.50 movie ticket to a four-day, $10,000 family reunion.
In those two years he charged about $110,000, and he said he sent about $16,000 to American Express to cover personal expenses, though the expenses were never detailed. In a 2012 memoir, he wrote, “From January of 2005 until October of 2008 I charged about $160,000 in party-authorized expenses.”
Rubio defended use of the card; the minivan, he said, was damaged by a valet at a political function and the party paid $1,000, half the insurance deductible. Items that were personal were paid directly to American Express, he said, though records show that did not happen on a monthly basis. After reporting by the Times/Herald, Rubio did pay the Republican Party of Florida $2,400 for plane flights he double-billed to state taxpayers and the party.
Of course, he’s not the only one being vetted. Republicans are asking the I.R.S. to audit the finances of “Hillary Clinton’s family charities,” as Reuters frames it. Democrats should expect a lot more incoming on this as Clinton closes in on the nomination.
“The American people deserve to know whether the largest philanthropic arm of the Clinton Foundation continues to misreport the funds it receives from foreign governments, and whether this might lead to the potential for further conflicts of interest,” Priebus wrote. [Reuters]
During the CNBC, Quintanilla was booed for daring to ask questions of Carson about his connections with Mannatech. But Jim Geraghty wasn’t fooled, ripping Ben Carson for his “balled-faced lies,” which he has been saying since January.
Last night, when asked about Mannatech, Ben Carson responded:
Well, that’s easy to answer. I didn’t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda. I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.
His declarations that “I didn’t have an involvement with them” and “absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them” are just bald-faced lies.
Dr. Carson is a target rich environment, and if you thought Jimmy Carter couldn’t handle the presidency, wait until Ben Carson’s “quiet demeanor” starts shredding the gains of equality for women, LGBT and others.
Donald Trump doesn’t scare me half as much as thinking about Ben Carson in the White House. Trump won’t turn our government into a theocratic arm of the Republican party. That’s exactly what I can envision Carson doing.