Ben Carson Biography: Amid Media Scrutiny, Can Republican Presidential Candidate Keep Blaming The Press For Stories' Inconsistencies?

Candidates in the Republican primary field are getting ready for their fourth debate, and on Tuesday Dr. Ben Carson is likely to face more difficult questioning than he’s seen so far in his campaign. The retired neurosurgeon has breached the top of the Republican pack and has already been the subject of deep media scrutiny over suspicions that he mischaracterized portions of his past.

Carson’s approval seems resilient to the attacks for now, an possible indication that his supporters may be less concerned with the notion that he’s not being completely truthful than they are with what has been characterized as attacks on Republicans from liberal media. But while Carson may be wise to take a hard stance against his media criticism at this point, crisis communications experts say his campaign needs to be wary of the potential for things to spiral out of control.

For now, Carson’s message and defense of his biographical anecdotes will likely resonate with Republican primary voters who are deeply distrustful of mainstream media outlets posing questions about his history. Eventually, the nominating process could lead him to face more moderate voters who may not be so readily accepting of his defense that it’s all a misinterpretation by journalists.

“Carson is No. 1 because basically there isn’t anyone in the Republican electorate who doesn’t like him and if he loses that likeability factor he’s going to go south fast,” Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who worked for the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign, said. “He’s got to cut down on the verbal miscues. He’s been given a lot of leeway and thus far they have not hurt him. But eventually the political laws of gravity are going to kick in. Everything else [he] say[s] is going to be magnified now.”

Read more from Clark Mindock at International Business Times

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Analysis & Political Strategy