Carson desperately backpedals after asking fifth-grade class unfortunate question

Ben Carson found himself in an awkward position Thursday as a rhetorical question to a class of Iowa fifth-graders backfired.

At a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids with about 500 people in attendance, the Republican presidential candidate shared the familiar story of how he bettered himself in school with constant reading and study, reported The Des Moines Register.

“As a fifth grade student, I was a horrible student,” Carson said at the Isaac Newton Christian Academy. “Anybody here in fifth grade? Who’s the worst student?”

Unexpectedly, more than half a dozen students pointed to one classmate, a 10-year-old boy who initially turned red in the face. Carson quickly tried to turn the situation around, telling the children “If you had asked that question in my classroom, there would have been no doubt” his classmates would have chosen him.

Carson had not anticipated the reaction from students to his question. “I figured people would be pointing around to all different people who they didn’t like,” he told the Register.

The targeted student, Seth, told the paper “I was laughing,” when asked how he felt. His teachers and others who know him said he is liked by his classmates and is not the worst student, describing him as a “class jokester” which his mother assumes is what prompted the children to point to him.

In quick thinking damage control, campaign staff arranged a personal meeting between Carson and the young boy backstage after the event. The retired neurosurgeon encouraged Seth to follow in his footsteps.

Watch the video of the backstage meet-up, below.

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