Despite giving the impression for years, and even describing in his autobiography “Gifted Hands” that he had been offered a “full scholarship” to attend the elite military academy of West Point, Ben Carson and his campaign have admitted that indeed he was never offered such a scholarship.
The story, which has been transmitted in a somewhat misleading way through the years, describes a 17-year old Carson meeting General William Westmoreland in 1969. At the time Carson was the best ROTC student in Detroit, and because of his status he had a meeting with the illustrious general. Carson claimed that Westmoreland offered him a ‘full scholarship” to attend West Point, but the fact that he also explained to the general that he was going to pursue a career in medicine was not made clear to the public.
Only after Politico inquired at West Point about this story did it come to light that not only was Carson not offered any kind of scholarship, he never even applied to West Point in the first place.
When asked about the details of the meeting Carson had with Westmoreland, Carson said,
“I don’t remember all the specific details. Because I had done so extraordinarily well you know I was told that someone like me – they could get a scholarship to West Point. But I made it clear I was going to pursue a career in medicine.”
“It was, you know, an informal ‘with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’”
Bill O’Reilly of Fox News asked Carson if it would have been better to be clearer about what really happened in his book and during his campaign. Carson responded, “I guess it could have been more clarified. I told it as I understood it.”