Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been enjoying a boost in Republican polls over the past few weeks, leading the field in some cases. However, Carson’s soft spoken demeanour has masked some extreme and invective comments throughout this campaign.
In contrast with the bombast and hyperbole of Donald Trump, Carson’s calm persona has enabled him to connect with grassroots conservatives and appear reasonable.
Added to which, Carson’s religion and bashing of ‘political correctness’ resonates with many conservatives who feel disillusioned with contemporary political commentary and mass media.
Yet despite this, Carson has made some extremely divisive and ill-researched comments that has sneaked past widespread attention. Perhaps now he is considered a frontrunner, statements such as these listed below will come under greater scrutiny.
On…. Hitler proving the need for gun ownership
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed… I’m telling you, there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
On… the Pyramids of Gisa
“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it.”
On… how to react to a mass shooting
“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all,'”
On… choosing to be gay
“A lot of people who go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay, so did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question,”
“Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery… And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”
On… sexual politics
“How about we have a transgender bathroom?”
On…. political correctness
“I mean very much like Nazi Germany — and I know you’re not supposed to talk about Nazi Germany, but I don’t care about political correctness — you know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate a population… We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe, and it’s because of the PC police, it’s because of politicians, because of news — all of these things are combining to stifle people’s conversation.”