Dr. Ben Carson was pretty candid with the Values Voter Summit audience at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, D.C. Friday. He started by sharing his childhood struggles and how his success taught him there is no way but the "American Way." The presidential candidate also beamed about his non-politician status, a reminder that was received with eager applause from attendees.
He made the crowd wait until halfway through his speech, however, before addressing the controversy that's been following him since his appearance on "Meet the Press" last weekend. When Chuck Todd asked him if he thought a Muslim should be president, the former neurosurgeon said he would "not advocate" it. That's when the press pounced and blasted headlines claiming he was an intolerant bigot. Carson has since defended his comments, insisting his words were taken out of context and that he was specifically addressing the dangerous tenets of Sharia Law.
Fed up with reporters twisting his words, during his VVS speech he challenged the media to go back and read the "Meet the Press" transcript for clarification:
I said, before that I said anybody from any faith, from any belief system who comes to America, becomes an American citizen, embraces our American values and principles and is willing to subjugate their beliefs to our Constitution is somebody I have no problem with. But he then comes back and says, yeah, but what about a Muslim, in the context of maybe somebody who didn’t fit in that category. Anybody who doesn’t fit in that category, I don’t care who they are – they can be a Christian – if they don’t fit in that category, I’m not going to advocate that they be president of the United States. It’s as simple as that.
So, Carson doesn't discriminate religions when it comes to adhering to the Constitution. He insists that the rule of law is the top priority for anyone running for president.
It seems former Gov. Mike Huckabee disagrees. His belief that God trumps the Constitution was most evident in his defense of Christian county clerk Kim Davis. When Davis was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex licenses, Huckabee flew to her side and even announced he would take her place behind bars if he could:
“I am tired of watching people being just harassed because they believe something of their faith and we cannot criminalize the Christian faith or any faith in this country and I pray that there will be remedies that do not involve putting someone in jail for their convictions.“
One thing Carson and Huckabee would perhaps agree on is that a liberal PC culture is infecting the country. Carson couldn't help taking another swipe at this sensitive, progressive mindset:
You know, political correctness is ruining our country and we need to stand up for what we actually believe. (Applause, cheers.) It’s ridiculous.
After addressing the elephant in the room that were his comments about Muslim Americans, Carson spent the remainder of his remarks talking about the negative economic effects liberalism has had on the middle class, as well as the need to rebuild our military.