me while i scream it out loud ♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, ben carson under scrutiny and under attack. once mild mannered, he's now fighting back against those challenging his personal history. meanwhile, his fellow candidates were taking hits their own in the gop debate tonight. but the question now is can carson get his momentum back? plus, he was one of the star witnesses at the o.j. simpson double murder trial. now the world's most infamous house guest is telling our barber walters, quote, they made a mistake. what he did with his former friend that night now taking on new significance. and why the world is standing up for heroes tonight. this veteran nearly lost her life over in afghanistan. now he's preparing for the paralympics and she's sharing
her incredible journey and what prince harry has to do with it. but first, the "nightline 5." >> do you think your heartburn pill works fast? zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. when heartburn strikes, take zantac for faster relief as nexium or your money back. how much protein does your dog food have? 8%, 20%? real salmon and tuna has 30% protein. support your active dog's whole body health with purina one. number one in just 60 number one in just 60 seconds. who wants grass-fed beef that doesn't eat too much of their paychecks. the cash-strapped college student who simply wants organic and local produce. the parents...who may not have a healthy budget, but still make sure their children eat healthy. you inspire us to do everything we do...
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debate in milwaukee, donald trump needed to prove he's a substantive candidate and jeb bush needed to demonstrate he's still a viable one. but perhaps most importantly dr. ben carson who has been surging in the polls needed to deal with the mounting questions about whether he's been honest about his own past. here's abc's david wright. >> reporter: it's a reality show where the stakes couldn't be higher. >> it sounds like a game show but it's not. >> reporter: this time next year right about now, in fact, one of the apprentice on that stage will either win 270 electoral votes or -- >> you're fired. >> you're fired. you're fired. >> reporter: -- or not, one year from this week it's all over. >> so we begin. >> reporter: so the presidential reality show is getting realer by the day. tonight new jersey governor chris christie was voted off the island because of his poor poll numbers. >> the tribe has spoken. >> reporter: surviving to debate at the so-called kiddie table but not with the big boys.
like contestants on "the bachelor" or in her case, "the bachelorette" hoping to win that rose. two of the candidates are doing well enough to get secret service protection starting tomorrow. dr. ben carson, code named eli, now the front-runner. >> and people who know me know that i'm an honest person. >> reporter: and donald trump, code name mogul, running a strong second. >> we cannot let hillary clinton, who is the worst secretary of state in the history of our country, win this election. >> reporter: both of them pulling twice as much support as their next nearest competitor, according to the polls. between them, nearly 50% more than all the other gop candidates combined. one big question, will carson still be the front-runner after tonight? >> well, first of all, thank you for not asking me what i said in the tenth grade. i appreciate that. >> reporter: carson has been complaining the media is out to
get him. >> i do not remember this level of scrutiny for one president barack obama when he was running. in fact, i remember just the opposite. >> he seems to feel like people have it in for him. >> the interesting thing is he thinks this is a tough week when really if you really look at where the stories are coming from, they're all deriving from one single source, his own words. this is just reporters asking questions about things he's said. >> reporter: reporters have been pouring over carson's unusual theory about the pyramids as outlined in a 1998 commencement speech. >> now, my own personal theory is that joseph built the pyramids in order to store grain. >> reporter: they've questioned specific details about his inspiring life story. and everyone has been scratching their heads over a story he's told many times about nearly stabbing someone to death years ago. >> i tried to stab him in the abdomen. and fortunately under his clothing he had on a large metal
belt buckle. >> reporter: so far reporters have been unable to confirm the details of that incident, leaving a strange situation. a candidate insisting he almost murdered somebody and the skeptics doubting it. the irony is not lost on donald trump. >> this is the only election in history where you are better off if you stab somebody. a lot of weird things are happening. this is a strange election, isn't it? >> reporter: tonight this from carson on the vetting issue. >> i have no problem with being vetted. what i do have a problem with is being lied about. and then putting that out there as truth. >> reporter: but for the most part tonight's debate was distinguished by the absence of sharp attacks. tonight the moderators steered clear of any inkling they were going for a gotcha. their question -- >> what specific steps would you take to balance the budget. >> reporter: substantive.
>> how do you reassure americans their jobs -- >> excellent question. >> reporter: pointedly unpointed. >> what specific regulations would you change and how will that lead to jobs and growth? >> reporter: fox business clearly sought to avoid any suggestion they were trying to provoke a food fight. >> business issues can be riveting. >> reporter: the other candidates, that made it all the more difficult to force a make or break moment. so did anybody succeed? >> i think this debate now is show that basically we're probably down to four candidates this race is, which is ben carson, donald trump, ted cruz, and marco rubio. >> reporter: well, on trump's big idea to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out, which he himself parodied on snl -- >> the president of mexico is here to see you. >> donald. >> enrique. >> i brought you the check for the wall. >> oh, that's so wonderful. >> we will have a wall. the wall will be built. the wall will be successful. and if you think walls don't work, all you have to do is ask
israel. >> reporter: kasich tried to top the wall. >> silly argument. it's not -- you should let jeb speak. it's unfair. >> reporter: bush tried to climb over the wall. >> thank you, donald, for allowing me to speak at the debate. that's really nice of you. really appreciate that. >> reporter: the candidates providing the fireworks while the panel pretty much ducked. >> they're doing high fives in the clinton campaign right now when they hear this. that's the problem with this. we have to win the presidency. >> reporter: carly fiorina scored points off trump and his boast that he's on great terms with vladimir putin. >> i got to know him very well because we were both on "60 minutes." >> i have met him as well, not in a green room for a show but in a private meeting. >> reporter: trump clearly growing annoyed with her. >> why does she keep interrupting everybody? >> yeah. boy. >> terrible. >> reporter: a strong performance from many of them. >> if i am our nominee they will be p party of the past.
we will be the party of the 21st century. >> i believe in america. if we get back to the free market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country, we can turn this country around. >> i think the winners tonight were probably marco rubio and ted cruz. if i was putting on a bet on a stock i would put them as buy. i would put jeb as a sell. >> reporter: immediately after the debate signed off, hillary clinton's campaign tweeted out this image of her looking bored. #gopdebate. i'm david wright for "nightline" in new york. up next here on "nightline," barbara walters with a fascinating "where are they now" story. kate oh kaelin, the house guest who became the household name during the simpson trial.
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did you say honey? hey, try some? mmm that is tasty. is it real? of course... are you? nope animated you know i'm always looking for real honey for honey nut cheerios well you've come to the right place. great, mind if i have another taste? not at all mmm you're all right bud? never better i don't know if he likes that. yeah part of the complete breakfast kato kaelin shot to fame 20 years ago in the o.j. simpson murder trial. he was the famous house guest stag at o.j.'s place, also a star witness. so where is he now and what does he think about whether his former friend is guilty or innocent? here's abc's barbara walter.
>> kato, in your opinion, do you think that o.j. murdered nicole and ron goldman? >> in my opinion, yes. i think he's guilty. >> reporter: you may remember kato as a witness in the trial. a tenant in simpson's guest house. a struggling actor who is both a friend to o.j. and nicole. he became an overnight celebrity after his trial testimony. kato helped establish a timeline for investigators. he sat down with me recently to share recollections. >> o.j. simpson, he's very much a character out of shakespeare play. here's a man who had everything and lost everything and became from an adored athlete to a pariah. >> we will bring you up to the minute news on o.j. simpson. >> reporter: my introduction on the simpson case began on live television as hugh downs and i went on air on "20/20." the police were attempting to
arrest simpson for the murders of his former wife, nicole brown simpson, and her friend, ron goldman. their bodies had been discovered outside nicole's home in brentwood. it was a grisly crime scene. >> if i saw o.j. today i would say, o.j., did you do it? >> and what do you think the answer is? >> what would i think he would say? i think he would say absolutely not. >> approximately what time was it when you got your food? >> 9:25. 9:26. >> reporter: his testimony would bookmark both ends of what the prosecution argued was the time period in which simpson could commit the crime. >> o.j. simpson came by my guest house, and he knocked on my door and said he was going to go out to eat. weed ended up going to mcdonald's. >> reporter: the prosecution's opportunity clock began at 9:36 p.m. when o.j. and kato returned to rockingham. kato went to his bungalow, o.j. to his house.
an hour and ten minutes later a limousine arrived to take simpson to the airport. >> he killed her out of jealousy. >> reporter: the means of the crime, according to the prosecution, was a knife that was never found. >> you saw o.j. get into the limo. tell us about that. >> i was helping pack stuff into the limo because he was going to chicago, and there was a bag that was ready to be packed. he said, don't touch this bag, and that bag was never found. >> a suitcase type bag? >> looked like a backpack. >> now do you think it may have been the murder weapon? >> i don't know what was in there but something in there enough for o.j. simpson to say don't touch. >> never was found? >> never was found. >> you are reminded that you must not be influenced by mere sentiment, conjecture, or public feeling. >> reporter: the jurors filed out and then reached a verdict in less than four hours of deliberation. >> we the jury find the
defendant orenthal jay simpson not guilty of the crime of murder upon nicole brown simpson. a felony on nicole brown simpson, a human being. >> count one of the information. >> we were together, you and i, in los angeles when the verdict of not guilty came out. you were shocked. i remember your face. >> i remember that because you asked me, i think off camera, you said, what do you think? i whispered in your ear, i said, i think they made a mistake. >> you still feel that way? >> yeah. i think they did. >> reporter: kato kaelin still has some of his boyish looks 20 years later but his life is very different. >> i used to call you america's favorite house guest because you lived in the guest house of o.j. now you own your own home, you have your own business. tell us about your life. >> yeah, it's good. my goal actually one day in life is to have someone live behind me. but, yeah, what i'm doing now is exciting because i started a
clothing line, barbara, it's called slacker. >> wait a minute. is that autobiographical? >> no, but people would call me, he's the biggest slacker. i said, take that and i came up with this product line called slacker. >> reporter: ron goldman's family spearheaded by his father and sister kim went after simpson in a civil suit, charging him with responsibility for ron's murder. they won big time. the jury found simpson culpable and awarded a judgment of $33 million. >> mr. goldman, what's your reaction? your reaction? >> wonderful! >> reporter: o.j. simpson suffered severe financial consequences. he didn't have the $33 million the jury awarded them. and goldmans have had trouble collecting. so far they have received only a tiny fraction of what is owed them. but he would soon face yet
another jury. simpson was convicted of robbing a dealer of football memorabilia at gun point and stealing back mementos and souvenirs that used to belong to him. a hotel camera caught him on tape. >> we were just robbed at gun point by o.j. simpson. can you send the police here, please? >> my lawyer told me you can't break in his room. i didn't break into anybody's room. >> reporter: the sentence was serious jail time, 9 to 33 years. he is in prison now, but not for murder, not for killing nicole. >> right. and i think him being in prison, i'm not such a believer in karma but i switch my mind to that because i think karma came back to him. >> orenthal jay simpson not guilty to the crime of murder. >> when nevada convicted him it almost felt like, hey, l.a., this is how you do a trial. >> we should say that barbara walters presents "american
scandals" monday nights at 10:00 eastern on investigation discovery. coming up next on "nightline," she went from near death after a battlefield calamity to hitting the slopes. how did she do it and what is her mission now? do it and what is her mission now? abc news "nightline" brought to you by e trade. good. very good. you see something moving off the shelves and your first thought is to investigate the company. you are type e*. yes, investment opportunities can be anywhere... or not. but you know the difference. e*trade's bar code scanner. shorten the distance between intuition and action. e*trade opportunity is everywhere. yeah. that's the one right? ♪ we forgot dave!
ennis is on a new mission. she's trekking a thousand mile ace cross britain along with five other vets to honor the sacrifice of fellow vets who can't walk them anymore, they're placing dog tags with their names along the route. >> i lost 25 brothers. they were killed in action or they came home and lost their fight. >> reporter: kirstie nearly lost her own life in june 2012. she was serving as an aerial gunnar afghanistan when her helicopter went down. >> the first six months after i got hurt, my life fell apart and was falling apart in front of me. i had no job. i had no teeth. i could not xhurin caught to my family. i couldn't identify who my family really was. so i really, really faced some extreme trials. >> reporter: the crash left her with a shattered jaw, a broken leg, damage to her spine, burns, a hearing impairment, and traumatic brain injury. doctors told her she would never walk again. but she did more than walk. after 38 surgeries to repair her
body, it was healing power of snowboarding that gave her life new meaning. >> you had never gone snowboarding before you were wounded? >> right. >> and now in the world of paralympics you are number five in the world in terms of snowboarding? >> yeah. i'm ranked fifth internationally for women's paralympics. >> reporter: she is on track to compete in the 2018 paralympics. >> yes, i am considered disabled. i am classified as a disabled person. i'm handicapped. but if i can go and i can do something like this that i couldn't do before, i mean, that gives you the power and the strength to want to try to overcome anything at this point. >> reporter: but kirstie still has another trial to overcome. when she finishes her trip doctors will amputate the lower leg that causes her so much pain. despite her physical and emot n emotional scars she still has a smile on her face and determination to finish the journey that has given her a new purpose. kirstie makes her way to london, the last stretch of her trip
presenting her final dog tag to prince harry, remembering another marine who didn't survive when his helicopter went down. >> please welcome, ladies and gentlemen, sergeant kirstie ennis. >> reporter: tonight at the stand-up for her res event in new york, kirstie is recognized for her bravery and sharing her message of hope and strength this veterans day. >> like everyone else in the front rows tonight i do not want anyone's pity. we want people to push and challenge us in order to grasp a new sense of purr and direction. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm boot woodruff in new york. >> our thanks to my friend bob woodru woodruff. we should say the woodruff foundation does great work. thank you for tuning in to abc news tonight. tune in to gma first thing in the morning. and as always, we're on 24/7 on our "nightline" facebook page and on abcnews.com.