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Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCompanies stuck in crossfire between Trump and his critics Bannon rips 'corporatist, globalist media' DNC candidate Harrison drops out, backs Perez for chairman MORE on Thursday compared rival Ben Carson’s “pathological” temper to the mental issues of a child molester.
"It's in the book that he's got a pathological temper," Trump said on CNN’s "Erin Burnett OutFront," referring to Carson’s memoirs.
"That's a big problem because you don't cure that,” he continued, adding: “As an example: child molesting. You don't cure these people. You don't cure a child molester. There's no cure for it. Pathological, there's no cure for that."
“I'm not bringing up anything that's not in his book. … When he says he's pathological — and he says that in the book, I don't say that — and again, I'm not saying anything, I'm not saying anything other than pathological is a very serious disease,” Trump added.
Carson’s 1990 book “Gifted Hands” growing up poor in Detroit. The retired neurosurgeon details a series of violent incidents in his youth, including attempting to stab a friend and attempting to attack his mother with a hammer.
Trump has repeatedly questioned Carson’s violent past, warning that his history makes him mentally unfit to be president.
Asked on CNN whether he feels Carson has left his anger behind, Trump replied, “I just don't know.”
“He's saying, ‘These things happen and therefore I have credibility.’ And what I'm saying is, I'd rather have them if they didn't happen. I don't want somebody who hit somebody in the face with a padlock.”
Trump attacked Carson last week, writing: “The Carson story is either a total fabrication or, if true, even worse-trying to hit mother over the head with a hammer or stabbing friend!”
Trump and Carson are neck-and-neck for the lead in the GOP presidential primary.
Carly Fiorina, also a Republican presidential candidate, took to Facebook on Thursday evening to rip Trump’s comments.
“Donald, sorry, I've got to interrupt again,” she wrote, in reference to Trump’s criticism of her at a presidential debate earlier this week.
“You would know something about pathological,” she continued. “How was that meeting with Putin? Or Wharton? Or your self funded campaign? Anyone can turn a multi-million dollar inheritance into more money, but all the money in the world won't make you as smart as Ben Carson.”
- Updated at 9:35 p.m.