If all else fails, attack the messenger. That seems to be the Republican presidential candidates’ strategy when it comes to answering tough questions from journalists.
On CNN’s “New Day” Friday, GOP candidate Ben Carson was strangely combative with host Alisyn Camerota, who pressed him on a number of his recent controversial comments, including the claim that “many” Americans are stupid and that “we’d be Cuba if it weren’t for Fox News.”
“I did work at Fox for many years and I do have many friends there still who are are excellent journalists, but I’m not sure that even they think that without their reporting, we would be Cuba,” Camerota said in the segment. “You mean that if Fox News didn’t exist, we would be a communist country?”
Carson bristled at the question.
“There you go with sensationalism,” he snapped. “That’s what you try to do -- you hope somehow that will resonate with people who don’t think for themselves.”
“Dr. Carson, I’m quoting -- I’m not even quoting you; I’m playing your words,” Camerota responded. “You are the person who said there are a lot of people who are stupid and without Fox News, we would be Cuba.”
Carson then implied Camerota was among the stupid Americans he’d described as stupid.
“Are you honestly telling me you didn’t know what I was talking about when I said that? Because if you are, you might fit in that category,” Carson said.
In a subsequent interview with "The Wrap," Camerota said she was “stunned” at Carson’s hostility during the interview. The idea that CNN is trying to smear Carson, she said, is “completely erroneous and out of bounds.”
“It sure does seem to be a narrative in this election cycle that it’s a referendum on the media,” Camerota told the outlet.