Talk radio host and 2016 Republican debate participant Hugh Hewitt expressed concern to Dr. Ben Carson that “the same kind of questions that tripped up Sarah Palin early in her campaign are going to trip you up” on Wednesday.
“What I worry about as a Republican, as a conservative, is that, because you’ve been being a great neurosurgeon all these years, you haven’t been deep into geopolitics, and that the same kind of questions that tripped up Sarah Palin early in her campaign are going to trip you up when, for example, the gotcha question, does she believe in the Bush doctrine when it depends on how you define the Bush doctrine. And how are you going to navigate that, because I mean, you’ve only, have you been doing geopolitics? Do you read this stuff? Do you immerse yourself in it?” Hewitt stated.
Carson responded, “I‘ve read a lot in the last six months, no question about that. There’s a lot of material to learn. There’s no question about that. But again, I have to go back to something that I feel is a fundamental problem, and that is we spend too much time trying to get into these little details that are easily within the purview of the experts that you have available to you. And I think where we get lost is not being able to define what our real mission is, and not being able to strategize in terms of how do we defeat our enemies, how do we support our allies? I could spend, you know, the next six years learning all the details of all the SALT treaties and every other treaty that’s ever been done and completely miss the boat.”
Hewitt’s remarks came after a wide-ranging foreign policy interview in which Carson said “if we have them [the Baltic states] involved in NATO. We need to convince them to get involved in NATO and strengthen NATO,” to which Hewitt responded, “well, [the Baltics,] they are in NATO.”
Carson later explained, “well, when you were saying Baltic states, I thought you were continuing our conversation about the former components of the Soviet Union. Obviously, there’s only three Baltic states.”
Earlier in the interview Hewitt also took issue with with Carson’s statement that the Islamic faith “emanated” from Esau in the Old Testament, to which Hewitt said, “okay, I would date it to 632, but you’re — you’ve got a Biblical connection here that some people may share with you, but I think scholars might dispute.”