As a neurosurgeon, Ben Carson was famous for his steady hands. As a Republican presidential candidate, he’s developed a reputation for a calm and steady demeanor, even during televised debates.
An aide told TIME that staying calm and refusing to attack his opponents has been a deliberate strategy of the campaign since the beginning of his campaign.
But as it turns out, Carson has a trick up his sleeve.
During a wide-ranging interview with TIME in Nantucket at the end of September, Carson revealed his trick for maintaining a smile and an almost sleepy demeanor even while standing next to Donald Trump.
“I’ve learned that I don’t mind being attacked,” Carson said. “It doesn’t bother me at all. … I just kind of look at them and I say, can you imagine that used to be a cute little baby? I wonder what happened to that?”
Then Carson laughed, no doubt picturing a certain 13 little babies.