The National Review looked at Carson’s relationship with Mannatech earlier this year, highlighting that Carson was paid to speak about the company on numerous occasions through the Washington Speakers Bureau:

“I don’t know that he’s ever had a compensated relationship with Mannatech,” says Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager, when asked about those appearances. “All we know is that the Washington Speaker’s Bureau, which booked hundreds of speaking engagements for him through the year, booked these engagements. He had no idea who these people are. They’re booked through the speakers’ bureau. The question should be asked to the Washington Speakers Bureau, when did they have a relationship with Mannatech, because Dr. Carson never had one.” (At Washington Speakers Bureau, Carson is listed as a level-6 speaker, meaning his fee is more than $40,000 per speech.)


As for his endowment, there is 2011 video of Carson explicitly stating that Mannatech was a prominent donor. “Three years ago I had an endowed chair bestowed upon me,” Mr. Carson said in his 2011 Mannatech convention keynote speech. “It requires $2.5 million to do an endowed chair and I’m proud to say that part of that $2.5 million came from Mannatech.”

But when the Wall Street Journal asked Carson’s campaign about this video, a spokesman called the Mannatech reference “a legitimate mistake.”


“He simply got mixed up,” the spokesman told the WSJ.

Mixed up or not, as much as he might want to shrug off Mannatech like an old mistake, Carson remained an eager shill for the company as recently as last year:

“I still use them to this very day,” Carson says in the video.

Last night, he echoed that sentiment, plugging Mannatech’s pills even as he denied his relationship with the company. “I take the product. It is a good product.”


Update 5:49 pm: Mannatech sent me this response from a spokesperson:

Dr. Ben Carson accurately described his relationship with Mannatech in Wednesday night’s presidential debate. He stated:

“I did a couple of 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 [Mannatech]. Do I take their product? Yes, I think it’s a good product.”

That is a true statement and clearly defines the limits of his relationship with the company.

Dr. Carson is a long-term customer and has spoken about his personal and professional experiences at Mannatech events. Dr. Carson has never been a paid endorser or spokesman for Mannatech or its products.

Dr. Carson chose to participate in videos while attending corporate events, where he gave his personal perspective and testimony. He was not compensated for his participation in these videos. While Dr. Carson has talked positively about Mannatech and its products, he is not a spokesman or a paid endorser.

In participation with Dr. Carson’s campaign team - in order to comply with Federal campaign finance regulations - all references to Dr. Carson were removed from Mannatech digital sites and tools prior to his announcement of a presidential bid in 2015.


Image: AP