GOP front-runner Donald Trump took another stab at Ben Carson’s qualifications for the White House on Sunday.
The real estate mogul, speaking on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” reminded viewers how great of a deal maker he is, and said that is something he has over Carson, who is widely known for his work as a neurosurgeon.
“Ben’s a doctor. He’s not a deal maker,” Trump said over the phone Sunday, adding “I don’t think that’s his natural ability at all.”
Carson in recent weeks has been polling just behind Trump in second place. According to the latest CBS polls in Iowa, Carson is only 4% behind Trump’s 29% lead. In New Hampshire he has 12%, compared to Trump’s 40%, and in South Carolina, he has 21%, compared to Trump’s 36%.
Carson appeared on the same network Sunday shortly after Trump’s remarks, where he defended his experience beyond the medical field. He said he has spent multiple years in corporate America, sitting on boards of Kellogg and COSTCO, as well as starting a non-profit, the Carson Scholars Fund.
“It’s ridiculous to think that the only thing I can do is neurosurgery,” Carson said.
The back-and-forth between the two GOP front-runners began after Carson questioned Trump’s faith on Wednesday last week. Carson told the crowd at a rally in California that “humility and fear of the Lord” are a big part of who he is.
“I don’t get that impression with him,” Carson said about Trump. “Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t get that impression.”
Trump responded the same day with a tweet, defending his faith.
“Wow, I am ahead of the field with Evangelicals (am so proud of this) and virtually every other group, and Ben Carson just took a swipe at me,” he wrote.
Carson later apologized for his remarks, but that may only have convinced Trump more that he is not fit to be the next president.
“I don’t think Ben has the energy,” Trump said in Iowa on Saturday. “Ben is a nice man, but … we need people that are really smart, that have tremendous deal-making skills and that have great, great energy.”
Carson made clear that he disagrees that he lacks energy on ABC’s “This Week” also on Sunday morning.
“You don’t have to be loud to be energetic,” he said.
But Carson does not appear to want to continue this squabble with Trump. After discussing the importance of humility with John Dickerson on “Face The Nation,” Dickerson asked him if Trump is humble enough to be president.
“That will be a decision that the voters will make,” Carson said.