Dr. Ben Carson, one of Donald Trump’s most prominent supporters, said that anyone worried about Hillary Clinton’s health should be just as concerned about Trump because both presidential candidates are “elderly,” and there are no guarantees as people get older.
During a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Carson was asked about the groundless conspiracy theories Trump surrogates have been pushing about Clinton’s allegedly failing health. While the retired neurosurgeon has espoused many fringe beliefs over the years, he struck an reasonable note when discussing the role he thinks medical records should play in this year’s presidential race.
“I think somebody who is running for the President of the United States, particularly if they are elderly — and that would include both major candidates — should disclose their medical history,” Carson said. “And I’m not talking about from a year ago or two years ago. I’m talking about currently.”
“It’s common sense,” he continued. “As people get older, things begin to happen to them.” (Trump, 70, is actually older than Clinton, who is 68.)
Asked specifically about Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that the only reason Clinton is currently ahead in the polls is because the biased media hasn’t been adequately focused on her health, Carson pushed back.
“As a physician, physicians and scientists generally will not make a diagnosis based on something that they see from a long distance,” he said. “They want to have all the facts.”
“My diagnosis would be that anybody who is elderly should expose their records and we the people should know what they are. It’s a very stressful job, it’s not an eight-hour-a-day job. It’s 24–7 and we need to make sure it’s taken care of,” Carson said, adding he “absolutely, without question” thinks Trump should be held to the same standard as Clinton.
This isn’t the first time Carson hasn’t been particularly helpful to Trump in his role as campaign surrogate. Days after he endorsed Trump in March, Carson said he would’ve preferred to throw his support behind John Kasich, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz, but he “didn’t see a path” to victory for any of them. Carson added that he was assured he’d have a role in a Trump administration, despite the fact federal law prohibits promising “the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy.” Weeks later, Carson called Trump’s propensity to use coarse language and go after his rivals on Twitter “a problem.”
It’s also not the first time this week a Trump surrogate has called upon the Republican candidate to release more of his personal records. During a radio interview on Monday, devout Trump ally and campaign insider Roger Stone called on Trump to “release his tax returns immediately” — something Trump steadfastly refuses to do.