During an interview with Bloomberg, Trump appeared to criticize Bush for the terror attacks. Carson told ABC's "This Week" today he doubted that was really what the real estate mogul meant.
“I would probably ask him what he meant by that. I seriously doubt that he’s saying that -- that George W. Bush is to blame for it,” Carson said. "I certainly -- I certainly don’t think so.”
Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle had asked if Trump could reassure Americans in times of national emergencies, as the 43rd president did after Sept. 11.
“I think I have a bigger heart than all of them," Trump responded. "I think I’m much more competent than all of them. I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time.”
“Hold on,” Ruhle interjected. “You can’t blame George Bush for that."
“He was president, OK? Don’t blame him or don’t blame him, but he was president," Trump continued. "The World Trade Center came down during his reign. If you look at Sandy Hook, those people are still begging for help."
Carson, who is neck-and-neck with Trump in the latest GOP polls, was careful not to compare himself to his rival, who often highlights his negotiating prowess. But the retired neurosurgeon said he is also an experienced negotiator.
“I don’t want to necessarily compare myself with anyone, but I can tell you that, you know, I’ve had a lot of experience doing a whole host of things -- negotiating with all kinds of people in order to get things accomplished,” Carson said. “When you go into a negotiating, the recent Iran negotiation, for instance, you have to know how to negotiate.”
"For instance, when I became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, pediatric neurosurgery was not even on the map at Hopkins at that point," he added when asked for specific examples. "I had to negotiate a number of things in order to create the various different divisions.”
Carson also said he doesn’t think any of his potential Democratic opponents would be tough to beat in the general election.
"I personally don't think any of them will be very tough because it's going to be such a clear-cut election," he said. "We will be voting about whether we want a nation where the government is in control or a nation where the people are in control. I think it's going to be crystal clear and the people will make a clear decision."
“Biden worries us a little more because he has the likability factor,” campaign manager Barry Bennet said last week.