EXCLUSIVE–Ben Carson: Mom and Pop Small Businesses Are ‘Real Strengths of America’

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Greenville, SC

Dr. Ben Carson, GOP presidential candidate who launched his campaign Monday, made his way down Main Street in Greenville, South Carolina, to the South Carolina Freedom Summit on Saturday, stopping to chat with voters.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, spoke with the voters attending Artisphere, a street fair where hundreds of small business owners hosted booths showcasing their goods. It’s an every Saturday morning event in Greenville, but Saturday was special, as most of the customers took time to meet and chat with Carson.

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Carson said that small businesses are an important issue for the election and America’s economy.

“It’s a huge issue everywhere because people have insinuated themselves into the small business arena and try to control them,” he told Breitbart News.

“One of the real strengths of America in the past has been mom and pop and anybody who on the basis of their talent was able to expand as far as they want to go,” Carson said.

“Now, they can only expand up to fifty employees before they have significant consequences. That’s no good. That’s not going to help us as America,” he added referencing the employer mandate enacted by Obamacare.

“That has to be fixed, and it’s one of the many things that’s impeding the economy,” he said.

Chancey Lindsey-Peake, owner of Banana Manna, launched her business eight years ago. “We started out from very humble beginnings,” she told Breitbart News. “We started out with a borrowed kitchen–rented kitchen–and now, we are at our present location … for two and a half years now.”

Lindsey-Peake and Carson both share a strong belief in their faiths.

“My faith is what’s got me where I am. There was a time in my life where I did everything but trust God. Now, it’s all about God,” she said. “I went down a wrong path [and] found myself incarcerated–and glory be to God–my parents raised me in church, so then, when I got in that dark place, I knew who to call on.”

“When you believe that God would do what He said He will do, doors will open for you, if you believe,” she added. “Dr. Ben Carson–I just began to listen about his message and what he is about.”

South Carolina voter Lorando Lockhart, who was attending the street fair, also approached Carson and asked him what he plans to do to help homeless veterans.

Carson said veterans should be able to go to any hospital of their choosing.

“Why should they have to go sixty miles out of the way to go to a veterans [hospital]? That doesn’t make any sense,” he added.

“They shouldn’t have to worry about anything, and we need to start thinking about them at the time they enlist, not after they get out,” Carson said, adding that would help prevent post-traumatic stress.

“We just have to look at the whole big picture and realize that without our veterans, we wouldn’t have our freedom,” Carson said.