Dr. Ben Carson knew it was going to be a testy press conference. In Sharonville, Ohio Tuesday morning, the presidential candidate faced a media eager to follow up on his controversial comments regarding Muslim Americans. He was not about to apologize.
“We need to stop fitting everything into a PC culture,” he said.
Carson continued defending his comments, saying he’s heard from a lot of Muslim Americans in the past 24 hours, some he knows personally, some he’s trained, some he’s operated on. They all defended his character: “They say ‘we know you.’”
The former neurosurgeon, who has consistently polled in the top tier of 2016 contenders, made unflattering headlines on Sunday when arguing that a Muslim should not be president:
"I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."
Islam, Carson suggested, is “inconsistent” with the “values and principles of America.” His comments quickly overshadowed Donald Trump’s failure to silence a town hall participant who called President Obama a Muslim.
When Sean Hannity pressed the issue Monday night, Dr. Carson clarified his remarks by stating he would support a Muslim president if he or she rejected Sharia Law.
"If someone has a Muslim background and they're willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion ... I would then be quite willing to support them," he said.
In today’s presser, Carson reiterated that point and slammed the media for failing to understand him and having a problem hearing English:
“I said I would support anyone regardless of their background if they embrace American values and our Constitution,” he insisted.
In another note, Carson took the opportunity to comment on Gov. Scott Walker’s withdrawal from the race, complimenting him and his wife as kind people and lamenting that his campaign just did not “catch on.”