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‘We Need a Fighter’: Ben Carson on House Speaker Race, Obama’s Trade Deal and Putin’s Middle East

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t want House Republicans to simply coalesce behind the next candidate in line for the Speakership of the U.S. House. Instead, he wants an open and fair process to find the best possible Speaker.

Carson made his case on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM Patriot in an exclusive interview with guest host and Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle. The candidate also raised concerns with the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal and the dangers inherent in a non-interventionist strategy when it comes to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in the Middle East.

When it comes to the House Speakership elections, Carson said he wants clear explanations from the candidates for outgoing Speaker John Boehner’s slot about what leadership skills they possess that qualify them for the role of preventing the current administration from running with their one-sided policies unopposed.

“We need a fighter,” Carson said.

We have sent over the last few election cycles several people there with the thought of maybe we could stop the agenda of this administration and yet we never see anyone with the backbone to stand up. We need a Speaker who really is willing to put a stake in the ground and take—you know, that’s why we have checks and balances and separation of powers. When the legislative branch becomes the peanut gallery, then of course the executive branch and the judicial branch will overstep their boundaries if there’s nobody there to check them. That’s what we want to see. We want to see somebody who understands that and is willing to do it.

Carson added that he would like to see an open and fair election process—rather than a coronation—because that would ensure that such a candidate would emerge from the race.

“What I would love to see is a variety of different candidates get out there and explain their philosophy for leadership,” Carson said. “Because we really need a good leader or we’re going to just give the president a year and a half almost to just do whatever he wants. And I suspect the things that he wants to do are not going to be things that we like.”

Speaking of the things that President Barack Obama wants to do in his last year-plus in office, Carson zeroed in on Obamatrade, specifically the highly controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

“I think they [Congress] need to fight it [TPP], not because I’m against free trade—and not because I’m against finding a way to empower our allies in the whole Pacific basin,” Carson said. “That’s not the point. The point is the current agreement gives too much say to powers outside of the United States. I want the people and their representatives to be a much bigger part of something that significant. And I don’t necessarily trust the current administration to have the interest of the people at heart.”

Continuing with the notion that the current administration has given too much power to America’s enemies, Boyle how a President Carson would deal with what Putin is doing in Syria by backing Bashar Al-Assad and what Carson’s general Syria strategy would be.

“Putin is very interested in spreading his influence throughout the entire Middle East and really throughout the world,” Carson said.

But the Middle East is particularly important to him for economic reasons. Most of the analysts I don’t think have really figured this out yet, but the oil prices are so low and he’s a one-horse show: energy. It’s hurting his expansionist ambitions quite significantly, so he wants to get this foothold there.

[Putin] said he was coming there to fight ISIS. Is he fighting ISIS? Of course not. He’s fighting Al-Nusra, he’s fighting the anti-Assad forces. If he can establish a power base in Syria, he can use that as the Midas for spreading his influence throughout the Middle East, because he would love to control more of the oil fields. If he can then move down then into Iraq—ISIS controls Anbar, one of the largest energy fields in the world—if he can get control of that and then get control of some other areas, imagine what he might be able to do to the price of oil?

Carson said if he’s elected president, he’d stop Putin in his tracks by sending in troops and special forces to stop ISIS on the ground and take back control of the land ISIS now controls.

“We need to oppose—we need to not let that happen,” Carson said.

The way I would not let that happen is I would take that area first. I believe that we have the ability—and I have talked to several of our generals, who have said we could take back the land in Iraq including Anbar if we simply would not tie the hands of our forces and gave them a mission to do that. In addition to that, I think if we use our special forces and probably a limited number of boots on the ground, we could get others to join us.

Calling for a coalition when you don’t have leadership is kind of a fool’s game. It’s not going to happen—you’ve seen that. But if we get in there and we start showing leadership, believe me, a coalition will form behind us and we will begin to exert real influence in the area once again. Only then can you have an effective foreign policy. When people don’t respect you you’re not going to get anything done.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.

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