Dr. Ben Carson, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, took calls from the public Tuesday evening in an open teleforum to answer where he stands on a range of issues from health care to religion to the Second Amendment.
The conservative African-American neurosurgeon was asked how the Republican Party could be more appealing to African Americans.
“There are a lot of African Americans who do think for themselves and recognize that the policies that have been in place for decades now that really started with Lyndon Johnson … have not really accomplished very much,” Carson said.
He added that the nation now has more poverty, more incarceration, more broken families, and ten times more people on food stamps as it did in the past.
Carson believes the Republican Party needs to talk about how to invest in people and how to draw people out of the state of dependency.
Similarly to investing in individuals, Carson said it’s important to invest in America’s technical workers and engineers.
One caller said her husband had been out of work for years because tech companies are hiring cheap foreign labor in place of American citizens.
Carson replied to the caller by saying it’s important to create an attractive environment for businesses because if America has the right type of environment, it can provide jobs.
“I think with a better policy with regard to taxation – our corporate taxes are extraordinarily high, and they drive a lot of our businesses offshore – those businesses ought to be here,” Carson explained.
Carson was also asked about his religious beliefs and thoughts on abortion. He stated he is a Christian who has spent his entire life trying to save and preserve lives – even operating on babies who were inside their mother’s womb. He said it would not be hard for anyone to imagine that he is in favor of life.
As a Christian, Carson has been outspoken on the First Amendment and religious liberty. However, he is also an avid supporter of the Second Amendment.
“I believe the Second Amendment is an extremely important part of our Constitution and is there for a very good reason.” He added that it is in place so people may arm and protect themselves from an aggressive government.