Carson’s joke about mischievous youth may cost him cops’ vote: Back ‘before they would shoot you’

ben-carsonDr. Ben Carson tried to make a joke but ended up making headlines Wednesday during a speech at a New Hampshire campaign event about his wayward youth growing up in Detroit’s inner city.

The Republican presidential contender recalled that he and his friends used to throw rocks at passing cars and then run from the police, “back in the day, before they would shoot you.”

“Does anybody remember throwing rocks at cars when you were young?” he asked his supporters with his hand in the air.

“Everybody did it, because it was so much fun. Those old people, they would get angry, and stop the car and chase you.”

He added that they would often run slowly to encourage the motorists to continue the chase.

“Sometimes the police would come, always in unmarked cars, and they’d be chasing us across the field.”

Then Carson described how they would swing over a fence too high for the police to follow, and he and his friends would “laugh at them because they couldn’t do that.”

He added with a sly grin, “That was back in the day, before they would shoot you.”

When the audience laughed, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon quickly added, “I’m just kidding! You know they wouldn’t do that.”

He have been kidding, but the remark brought national attention to what was otherwise a routine campaign event, including coverage by The New York Times, the Daily Mail and other outlets as well as a mention in Time magazine’s “Must Read” for Oct. 1.

Watch the clip.


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