Americans may see a new presidential candidate on the Republican debate stage Tuesday night: a feisty and fired-up Ben Carson.
The retired surgeon's ongoing tangles with the news media about his background have brought out a more aggressive Carson, who has been known up to now for his mild-mannered temperament and refusal to descend into the pit of campaign charge and counter-charge.
But the media storm, and Carson's ability to survive it so far, have impressed some Republicans who say he had been too laid back. He has decided to use the news media as a target, accusing reporters of being unfair, too liberal, and eager to take down a front-running conservative – an anti-media tactic that often works among GOP voters who have long said the media are lined up against them.
See images of Carson on the trail:
At a news conference last Friday, Carson argued with reporters who were challenging his credibility. "Don't lie," the candidate said as he accused the media of "bias" and conducting a "witch hunt" against him.
At the debate, scheduled for Tuesday night in Milwaukee, he is expected to continue to make these charges in an effort to create sympathy for himself among conservatives.
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Carson's supporters also say they will try to shift media and public attention to his record of saving lives and helping people as a doctor.
Carson has been under media scrutiny since he surged ahead of real-estate developer Donald Trump in some national and state polls.
Politico challenged Carson's past statements that he received a scholarship offer from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Carson has now acknowledged that there was no formal scholarship offer but he says he was told by military officials that if he had actually applied he would have received a scholarship because of his sterling academic record and leadership potential.
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CNN has raised questions about whether Carson, as a teenager, tried to stab a close friend, a story that Carson has used to portray himself as a onetime troubled youth who rose above his problems to become a big success. Carson says CNN didn't talk to the right people and held to his original story.
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