The Campaign Spot

Carson to Newsmax: ‘I Didn’t Know Anything About all [Mannatech’s] Legal Stuff.’

Ben Carson, who chose to have all of my questions about his involvement with Mannatech answered through his business manager, Armstrong Williams, was willing to answer questions on camera from Newsmax TV.

Carson: I welcome that question, because, you know, ten plus years ago, you know, they asked me to give a speech. I give lots of speeches. At that time, I was giving at least one speech a week to some group. It’s a paid speech, you know, I work with a speakers bureau. I make no bones about that.

Host Ed Berliner: And you didn’t know what Mannatech as, or  the owner was, or the fact that he had problems in the past or deaths–

Carson: When I first became associated with them, by giving a speech, that’s when I first learned about them. I actually like what they stand for. I like the idea of supplements for — because the natural diet is actually very good. The body is made to heal itself based on good nutrition– 

Berliner:  But did you know the problems that he had in the past,  and you were speaking with the group — basically there was a child who died of Tay-Sachs disease that was connected to his form of supplements 

Carson: I didn’t know anything about all the legal stuff. But they have same kinda problem that many companies have. They have sales associates. you have these people who are trying to make money. They go out, they make outrageous claims–

[The host interrupts Carson, and goes to commercial, and when they return from break]

Berliner: I want to get back to Mannatech. People are saying right now that you should be held responsible for that, because you spoke for a group with a shady past, the gentleman there is Samuel Caster, who’s the businessman who’s had problems before, and that you should have known that you were speaking in front of a group, and you were representing a company whose products were seen as shaky and even the FDA was after them.

[Note from Jim: My article was actually about the then-Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott bringing charges against the company, not the FDA.]

Carson: Now, let me go back to the real problem. The real problem is that — Sam Caster by the way, I’ve heard him repeatedly stressed to the sales associates to not make claims this is a medicine or that this heals things. But you get people who are exuberant, because they see an opportunity to make some money. And some of them than have done things that I would totally disagree with, and have made that very clear, that I didn’t want to be associated with any such claims. What I am very much in favor of is good nutrition.

Berliner: Do you consider his glyconutrients good nutrition? Because there are people who still wonder if that’s real to begin with.

Carson: Well, let me put it this way. personally, I’ve been taking them for more than a decade. And since I’ve been taking them, I almost never get sick anymore. I used to get sick a lot.

Earlier in the interview Carson said, “There are some people who were thrust into positions of great responsibility and and sometimes we don’t we don’t look into their past. We don’t look into their association, we don’t look into their accomplishments, we don’t look into what kind of person they are and all those things become clear… I welcome the magnifying glass, I don’t have any problem.

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