The audience at the third Republican presidential debate booed CNBC’s moderators Wednesday night when one challenged retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson about a controversial association.
Carson has been tied to Mannatech, Inc., a nutritional-supplement company based in Texas. He appeared in a promotional video and spoke at two conferences hosted by the company, whose supplements have come under fire.
“This is a company called Mannatech, a maker of nutritional supplement, with which you had a 10-year relationship. They offered claims that they could cure autism, cancer. They paid $US7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in Texas. And yet your involvement continued, why?” CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla asked Carson, also questioning whether it spoke to his “vetting process or judgment.”
Carson dismissed the question.
“That’s easy to answer: I didn’t have an involvement with them. Total propaganda. I did a couple speeches for them. I did speeches for other people — they were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product,” he said.
The moderator then pointed out that Carson was on the company’s webpage. Carson said he didn’t give them permission to do that.
After the audience loudly booed the follow-up question, Carson simply said: “They know.”
The audience cheered.
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