Dr. Ben Carson is done arguing with Donald Trump. The two front-runners for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination started spatting on Wednesday, when each called the other's religious faith into question. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, on Wednesday night publicly doubted Trump's spirituality. Trump, a business mogul whose inflammatory remarks have garnered him significant attention, struck back Thursday morning.
Carson seemed to have pulled back before the dispute became too heated. “The media frequently wants to goad people into wars, into gladiator fights, you know,” Carson said, the Washington Post reported. “Everyone is going to be saying, ‘Oh there’s a big fight, everyone come watch the fight,’” he added. “But it's just not going to be as great as they think, because I’m not going to participate.”
The doctor told an audience at a campaign rally in California Wednesday, “I realize where my successes come from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God.” He added, “That’s a very big part of who I am -- humility and fear of the Lord,” before explaining how that compared to Trump: “I don’t get that impression from him,” the Hill reported.
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Trump was quick to fire back Thursday morning in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo. “Who is he to question my faith?” Trump asked, adding, “I don’t think he’s a great religious figure.” Trump then suggested that Carson was "an OK doctor" who was "heavy into the world of abortion" and had only recently become "this man of faith."
Recent polling shows that while Donald Trump is still a front-runner in the Republican race for the nomination, Carson is gaining on him. A CNN/ORC poll released Thursday showed that Trump had 32 percent support -- an increase of 8 percentage points since last month -- while Carson had 19 percent support, thanks to a 10 percent jump. Republican voters were also more enthusiastic about Carson as a candidate than they were about Trump, the poll showed.