Why gaffes hurt Carson but not Trump

Republicans told the Washington Examiner that there is a big difference between Trump’s gaffes and Carson’s. So far, they said, Trump’s missteps aren’t undermining his supporters’ confidence in the way Carson’s are.

“No matter what you think of what he has to say, Trump exudes confidence,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “Carson gets that deer in the headlights look when he makes a mistake or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The voters might not know that you’re wrong about an issue, but they will recognize a deer in the headlights.”

Paradoxically, Trump may benefit from his willingness to bluster through conflicts and even factual errors rather than apologizing for them. Meanwhile, Carson’s own camp has at times signaled that their candidate is dealing with a learning curve on major public policy issues.