In his closing remarks during Saturday’s Republican debate, Carson claimed Stalin had identified three aspects of the American character one must undermine in order to bring down the USA: our spirituality, our patriotism, and our morality.
There no evidence Stalin ever articulated any such trifecta. The first reference to the quote appears roughly 30 years after Stalin’s death, and massive online databases devoted to aggregating all of Stalin’s speeches and writings turn up no matching quotes. Further, as Snopes points out, it would be an oddly pro-America statement for Stalin to make, with its subtext being that American spirituality, patriotism, and morality are distinct, powerful, and unique.
Still, in a debate that sometimes felt like the comments section on YouTube, Carson’s misquote barely registered.