Ben Carson, the former presidential candidate and current Donald Trump adviser, said Wednesday that “elderly” presidential nominees like Trump and Hillary Clinton should release their medical history.
“I think that somebody who is running for president of the United States, particularly if they’re elderly — and that would include both major candidates — should disclose their medical history. And I’m not talking about from a year ago or two years ago. I’m talking about currently,” Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.
If he wins, 70-year-old Trump would become the oldest president ever elected. In December, Trump released a four-paragraph letter signed by Dr. Harold N. Bornstein of Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan that contained few specifics but declared that Trump would “be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
The letter pales in comparison to the more than 1,000 pages of medical records released in May 2008 by Sen. John McCain, who was then 71 and went on to become the Republican nominee. The records detailed eight years of care McCain received while fighting cancer.
Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said Wednesday that Trump has “no problem” releasing a full medical history, as long as Clinton does the same.
Trump and his supporters have raised questions about the health of Clinton, who is 68. Trump has repeatedly accused Clinton of sleeping too much and lacking the “strength” and “stamina” required for the job. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, a close adviser to Trump who is regularly at his side on the campaign trail, has repeatedly referred to unsubstantiated or debunked theories about Clinton’s health.
“What you’ve got to do is go online,” Giuliani said on “Fox News Sunday,” accusing the media of hiding information about Clinton’s health. “So, go online and put down Hillary Clinton illness, take a look at the videos for yourself.”
Clinton’s campaign has repeatedly insisted that there is no truth to such reports. In July 2015, Clinton released a two-page letter from her doctor listing the results of several lab tests, but the campaign has yet to release her full medical history and other records. If elected, Clinton would be the second-oldest president in history, just behind Ronald Reagan.
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s press secretary, tweeted on Sunday: “Google Rudy and health and you can read about how he withdrew from ’00 Senate race against Clinton,” alluding to Giuliani dropping out of that race for health reasons.
Giuliani doubled down on Fox News on Monday morning, saying that he thinks “Hillary’s tired” and “looks sick.”
On “Morning Joe” on Monday, political commentator Mike Barnicle asked Carson about Giuliani’s comments and asked if he agreed. Carson responded that all major presidential candidates who are “elderly” should disclose their medical history.
“It’s common sense,” Carson said. “It makes sense because as people get older things begin to happen to them.”
Carson added that “physicians and scientists generally will not make a diagnosis based on something that they see from a long distance,” and he declined to provide a medical diagnosis of Clinton.
“My diagnosis would be that anybody who is elderly should expose their records, and we the people should know what they are, because it’s a very stressful job,” Carson said. “It’s not an eight-hour a day job, it’s 24/7, and we need to make sure that that is taken care of.”
Carson was then asked if Trump should be held to the same standard, as he also has yet to release his full medical history.
“Absolutely,” Carson said. “Without question.”
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Jenna Johnson