Former White House hopeful Ben Carson found himself in a rather awkward exchange with a CNN anchor on Thursday while defending Donald Trump's refusal to fire his campaign manager who was recently charged with misdemeanor battery.
"Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager, do you think he should still be running the show after the controversy he found himself in?" CNN's Kate Bouldan asked Carson, who endorsed Trump in mid-March.
"Well I think there are a number of people who are involved and from my contacts with Corey, he's a very intelligent and efficient individual," he responded. "I don't see any reason quite frankly why we should demonize him."
"If you can come up with a good reason, I'll listen to it," Carson added.
"Well look, I mean he was charged with misdemeanor assault in Florida," Bouldan's colleague John Berman noted, confusing Lewandowski's battery charge with assault.
"A lot of people think that is a reason," Berman said.
"Well a lot of people have been charged with various things. That doesn't necessarily mean that we need to demonize them," Carson responded.
"You've probably been charged with something too," he told the anchor. "Maybe with a misdemeanor or something. [That] doesn't mean you're an evil, horrible person."
Berman interjected, "I actually haven't."
Carson continued without acknowledging Berman's attempt to correct him.
"This is part of the problem that we have in America today. Everybody wants to demonize everybody rather than sitting down and having an intelligent discussion about what is going on," he said.
"The other candidates think that Corey should step down," Bouldan told Carson.
"Well what I would say is we have [the Islamic State] and radical Islamic terrorists trying to kill us. We have a financial situation that threatens the foundation of this country. We've got internal strife," the retired neurosurgeon said.
He added, "These are the things that are important and if we concentrated more on those, I think we would be headed in the right direction."