FORT DODGE, Iowa (CBSNews/CBSNewYork/AP) — In one of the more bizarre speeches that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has delivered this campaign season, Trump went on a rant that lasted more than 10 minutes on new frontrunner, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson. He said Carson had a “pathological temper” that can’t be cured any more than a child molester can be cured.
“How stupid are the people of Iowa?” Trump bellowed during a rally at Iowa Central Community College. “How stupid are the people of this country to believe this crap?”
Carson brushed off Trump’s remarks Friday.
“I expect that kind of thing. That’s what’s been going on in our country for years,” Carson said.
In an interview with CNN, the businessman pointed to Carson’s own descriptions of his “pathological temper” as a young man.
“That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that,” Trump said. “That’s like, you know, I could say, they say you don’t cure — as an example, child molester. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure the child molester.” Trump also said that “pathological is a very serious disease.”
CNN’s Erin Burnett asked Trump if he was satisfied by Carson’s assurances that his anger was in the past, and Trump said he didn’t know. “You’ll have to ask him that question,” he said according to a CNN report on the interview. “Look, I hope he’s fine because I think it would be a shame.”
“It’s not the kind of dialogue I would ever engage in,” Carson said, adding Trump’s advisors should remind him of the definition of the word “pathological.”
“Pathological does not mean incurable,” Carson said.
In his book “Gifted Hands,” Carson described the uncontrollable anger he felt at times while growing up in inner-city Detroit. He wrote that on one occasion he nearly punched his mother and on another he attempted to stab a friend with a knife.
“I had what I only can label a pathological temper — a disease — and this sickness controlled me, making me totally irrational,” Carson said in describing the incident with his mother. He referred to “pathological anger” again in telling about lunging at his friend, the knife blade breaking off when it hit the boy’s belt buckle.
Carson’s ability to overcome his anger as well as an impoverished childhood to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon has been a central chapter in his personal story.
During the rally Thursday night in Fort Dodge, Trump told the crowd that “Carson’s an enigma to me” and questioned story after story in Carson’s biography. He acted out the scene of Carson trying to stab his friend, lurching forward and shouting, “but, low and behold, it hit the belt!”
Trump stepped away from the podium and displayed his belt buckle to the audience to try to disprove Carson’s story. He even challenged the audience to try to stab him.
“Somebody hits you in the belt, the knife is going in because the belt moves this way,” Trump said. “It moves this way. It moves that way. He hit the belt buckle. You want to try it on me? Believe me it ain’t going to work. You’re going to be successful.”
Carson describes in “Gifted Hands” racing to the bathroom in his house after the near-stabbing incident and in time began to pray for God’s help in dealing with his temper. “During those hours alone in the bathroom, something happened to me,” he wrote. “God heard my deep cries of anguish. A feeling of lightness flowed over me, and I knew a change of heart had taken place. I felt different. I was different.”
In questioning Carson’s religious awakening, Trump said in Fort Dodge that Carson went into the bathroom and came out and “now he’s religious.”
“And the people of Iowa believe him. Give me a break. Give me a break. It doesn’t happen that way,” he said. “Don’t be fools.”
There were other strange moments from the speech. Near the beginning of the speech, Trump referred to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as a “lightweight,” only to say later in the speech that it’s a derogatory term and that he refused to call him that.
“Rubio? Ready? Weak on illegal immigration. Like weak, like a baby,” Trump said.
He attacked the press as “scum.” He attacked other GOP opponents as well.
“I’m telling Carly, whatever the hell her name is, Fiorina. I’m saying will you stop cutting in?” Trump said.
“So we have a choice, we can either leave ’em alone, Mr. President, or we can go and either take him or bomb the hell out of him,” Trump said. “Who is going to say leave him alone? Is there anybody that would have said that?”
Trump also said he knew more about ISIS than generals do, and he also revealed his plan to fight ISIS.
“People are thinking like I don’t have a plan,” Trump said. “I would bomb the sh*t out of them. I would just bomb those suckers. And that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes. I’d blow up the refineries. I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left, and you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there, and in two months, you ever see these guys how good they are, the great oil companies? They’ll rebuild that sucker brand new. It will be beautiful, and I’ll take the oil. And I said I’ll take the oil.”
Trump’s speech lasted for more than an hour. He seemed unconcerned if his remarks ruffled feathers.
“You may say ‘That was not nice, what he said.’ Who cares? Then, you know, I go back to my life,” Trump said.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, Trump took things even further with a Friday the 13th Instagram video that included music from the Jason horror movies.
Trump and Carson have gone back and forth leading the GOP pack. A CNN poll released last week showed Trump with a two percent lead over Carson.
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