Tag Archives: Ben Carson

Carson: No ‘Political Path Forward’

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson told his supporters on Wednesday that he does “not see a political path forward.” Though he did not formally suspend his campaign, he announced that he will not be attending the Republican debate on Thursday.

Carson wrote in a Facebook post:

“I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit. Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America. I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of ‘We the People’ will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.

I appreciate the support, financial and otherwise, from all corners of America. Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interests of the American people.

I will discuss more about the future of this movement during my speech on Friday at CPAC in Washington, D.C.

– Ben”

According to The Daily Caller, Carson will not likely run for an open seat in the Florida Senate as previously suggested briefly by Politico.

Dr. Carson rose to political fame in 2013 after criticizing policies of President Barack Obama while Obama sat a few feet away during a speech he gave at the National Prayer Breakfast. In November, Carson rose to the top of the political polls and his message of being an “outsider” seemed to resonate with voters.

Dr. Carson made some controversial statements during his campaign, and began to lose voter support following a growing perception of being “low energy.”

Dr. Carson has a scheduled speech at CPAC this year and will be giving details to his supporters about the future plans of his “grassroots movement.”

In a below-embedded Reality Check segment from November 2015, Ben Swann discussed media reports that cast Carson in a negative light, including articles from CNN and Politico that challenged the credibility of statements made by Carson.

Reality Check: Is Ben Carson The Latest Victim Of Flawed Media…

Dr. Ben Carson has been clobbered by the media over past few days about statements he made years ago in a book about his life… but is it the media that needs to get their stories straight?

Posted by Ben Swann on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

GOP Candidates Sell FBI’s Talking Points, Ignore Apple’s Concerns

The remaining five GOP presidential candidates participated in a debate hosted by CNN and Telemundo Thursday night, and they were questioned on their positions regarding the current conflict between Apple and the FBI.

Apple CEO Tim Cook brought the issue to light last week when he released a letter notifying customers that the FBI was ordering Apple to “build a backdoor” into the iPhone in order to retrieve information from the iPhone used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino shooting.

While the FBI claimed the “backdoor” would only be used on the one iPhone in question, Cook raised several concerns, noting that the FBI’s request “has implications far beyond the legal case at hand” due to the fact that once “a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.” 

[RELATED: Apple Rejects Government Order to Create ‘Backdoor’ for iPhone]  

CNN host Wolf Blitzer brought up the topic during the debate, claiming that the FBI “wants Apple to unlock the phone used by that San Bernardino terrorist to prevent future attacks,” but that Apple has refused because “it would compromise the security of all of its customers.” 

Dana Bash, CNN’s chief political correspondent, turned to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, noting that he initially said that “Apple isn’t necessarily wrong to refuse the court order.”

Rubio said that because the FBI made it “very clear” that the “only thing they are asking of Apple is that Apple allow them to use their own systems in the FBI to try to guess the password of the San Bernardino killer,” his position has changed, and he is now in favor of the FBI’s request.

[pull_quote_center]Apple initially came out saying, ‘We’re being ordered to create a back door to an encryption device.’ That is not accurate. The only thing they’re being asked to do, and the FBI made this very clear about 48 hours ago, is allow us to disable the self- destruct mode that’s in the Apple phone so that we can try to guess using our own systems what the password of this killer was. And I think they should comply with that.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Facebook, Twitter Among Companies Supporting Apple in Fight Against FBI]

Bash then turned to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and she asked him if he agrees with Cook who said that creating a backdoor for the iPhone “would be bad for America.”

Cruz cited similar points to Rubio’s, claiming that the FBI is not looking for the “backdoor” Cook mentioned, but is instead looking into the phone of a single terrorist, and because of that he believes “Apple doesn’t have a right to defy a valid court order in a terrorism investigation.”

[pull_quote_center]Apple should be forced to comply with this court order. Why? Because under the Fourth Amendment, a search and seizure is reasonable if it has judicial authorization and probable cause. In this instance, the order is not to put a back door in everyone’s cell phone. If that was the order, that order would be problematic because it would compromise security and safety for everyone.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Bill Gates Sides with FBI, Downplays Order to Create ‘Backdoor’ for iPhone]

When asked the same question, neurosurgeon Ben Carson gave a similar response, claiming that he expects “Apple to comply with the court order,” and if the company doesn’t, he believes it would encourage “chaos in our system.”

[pull_quote_center]I think allowing terrorists to get away with things is bad for America. We have a Constitution. We have a Fourth Amendment. It guards us against illegal and unreasonable search and seizure. But we have mechanisms in place with the judicial system that will allow us to gain material that is necessary to benefit the nation as a whole or the community as a whole. And that’s why we have FISA courts and things of that nature. [/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: FBI Ordered Password Reset on San Bernardino Shooting Suspect’s iPhone]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich asked to add his input on the topic, and he said he blames the public fight between Apple and the FBI on the Obama administration, claiming that if he were president, they would be solving problems “instead of fighting on the front page of the newspaper.”

[pull_quote_center]The president of the United States should be convening a meeting, should have convened a meeting with Apple and our security forces. And then you know what you do when you’re the president? You lock the door and you say you’re not coming out until you reach an agreement that both gives the security people what they need and protects the rights of Americans.[/pull_quote_center]

While business mogul Donald Trump was not asked about the issue during Thursday’s debate, he made his position clear last week during a campaign rally when he said Americans should boycott Apple until the company agrees to “give that information” to the FBI.

“Apple ought to give the security for that phone,” Trump said. “What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such a time as they give that security number. How do you like that? I just thought of it. Boycott Apple.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: Why McAfee Says FBI Really Wants To End Encryption, Not Hack Just One iPhone]

During a recent Reality Check segment, Ben Swann interviewed John McAfee, a cybersecurity expert and the creator of McAfee security software, who offered to hack the San Bernardino shooting suspect’s phone for free.

McAfee said that if the FBI is being honest about their intentions to only retrieve information from the single phone, he and his team of hackers have offered to hack the suspect’s phone, and have said that they could do it in less than three weeks.

Reality Check: McAfee Claims FBI Wants To End All Encryption,…

Reality Check: McAfee Claims FBI Wants To End All Encryption, Not Just Hack One iPhone

Posted by Ben Swann on Tuesday, February 23, 2016


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Voicemails Sent Before Iowa Caucus Claimed Carson was ‘Suspending Campaigning’

Following Ted Cruz’s win in the Iowa Caucus and accusations that he stole votes from rival candidate Ben Carson, voicemails have been released which reportedly reveal that individuals, identifying themselves as members of Cruz’s campaign, were telling local precinct captains that Carson was “suspending campaigning” and “taking a leave of absence.”

After an email was sent out from the Cruz campaign asking supporters to inform voters that Carson “is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week,” Cruz pointed to CNN’s reporting and suggested that the media was encouraging conflict between himself and Carson.

Cruz claimed he apologized to Carson for “not passing on their subsequent clarification,” but he also stood by his campaign’s decision to send the email.

“The news story that our team passed on was true and accurate,” Cruz said according to RealClearPolitics. “In fact, Ben did go to Florida instead of New Hampshire or South Carolina.”

“Passing on a true an accurate news story, it is in fact something the voters found relevant,” Cruz continued. “There is a reason why the media is chattering about this. Because the media wants to stir up a fight between Ben Carson and me.”

[RELATED: Cruz Campaign Accused of Spreading Carson Drop-Out Rumors Before Iowa Vote]

While CNN Reporter Chris Moody tweeted that Carson “won’t go to NH/SC, but will instead head home to Florida for some R&R,” he immediately followed it up with another tweet that said Carson’s campaign told him that “he plans to stay in the race beyond Iowa no matter what the results are tonight.” Both tweets were posted at 4:43 p.m. CST Monday.

However, after Carson’s campaign had already confirmed that it was staying in the race, members of Cruz’s campaign reportedly called local precinct captains in Iowa and told them to encourage voters that they should “not waste a vote on Ben Carson,” because Carson was planning on “suspending campaigning.”

[RELATED: Iowa Sec. of State Chides Ted Cruz for Sending ‘Voting Violation’ Mailers to Voters]

Audio was released by Breitbart Thursday from two voicemails left on the phone of Nancy Bliesman, a precinct caption for Cruz in Crawford County, Iowa.

The first voicemail, which was reportedly left at 7:07 p.m. CST, was from a woman claiming she was calling to get to a precinct captain.”

[pull_quote_center]It has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail, so it is very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight, uh, that they not waste a vote on Ben Carson, and vote for Ted Cruz. He is taking a leave of absence from his campaign.[/pull_quote_center]

The second voicemail, left at 7:29 p.m. CST, was from a man who claimed that he was “the Cruz campaign,” and that he was calling with breaking news about Carson “suspending campaigning” following the Iowa Caucus. 

[pull_quote_center]Hello, this is the Cruz campaign with breaking news: Dr. Ben Carson will be [garbled] suspending campaigning following tonight’s caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead. Thank you. Good night.[/pull_quote_center]

Investigative journalist Ben Swann discussed additional accusations against the Cruz campaign during a Reality Check segment Thursday. He questioned why the Cruz campaign failed to pass along the information that Carson was still in the race even after it was widely reported, and he noted that this is only one instance of the Cruz campaign being accused of “dirty tricks” in Iowa:

Reality Check: Did Ted Cruz Use Lies and Dirty Tricks To Win …

Accusations that Ted Cruz's campaign used dirty tricks to win Iowa Caucus. Ben Swann explains what happened in Reality Check.

Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, February 4, 2016


For more election coverage, click here.

Cruz Campaign Accused of Spreading Carson Drop-Out Rumors Before Iowa Vote

Following Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz’s victory in Monday’s Iowa Caucuses, rival candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has cried foul.

Ben Carson told Fox & Friends in the above-embedded video, “Well, you know, at many of the precincts information was disseminated [by the Cruz campaign] that I was suspending my campaign, that I had dropped out, and that anybody who was planning to vote for me was wasting their vote and therefore they should reconsider.

[RELATED: Iowa Sec. of State Chides Ted Cruz for Sending ‘Voting Violation’ Mailers to Voters]

Carson also referenced a below-embedded tweet by Cruz supporter and Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King, which was posted while voting was still underway on Monday.

Truth in Media obtained a copy of an email distributed by the Cruz campaign, which can be seen below.


The Cruz campaign maintains that it was merely passing along media reports. A below-embedded tweet by CNN’s The Lead includes video from election night coverage that did seem to imply that Carson might be ending his campaign.

However, the Chris Moody report that CNN was referencing also included specific information that Carson was not dropping out, which was de-emphasized in CNN’s coverage.

Minutes later, PBS NewsHour reporter Lisa Desjardins tweeted a Carson campaign clarification about the miscommunication over his decision not to head to New Hampshire after Iowa.

Describing the email that was sent by the Cruz campaign, Iowa Cruz volunteer Joel Kurtinitis wrote on Facebook, “CNN was indeed reporting that Carson was taking a break after Iowa, which is exactly what was said here. And just to be safe, it even adds the ‘being reported’ disclaimer… I didn’t even see the email until we got home last night, and given that it was sent at 6:56, that’s probably the case for most folks. If some precinct captains misunderstood or misrepresented this, it’s on them. It’s mathematically certain, though, that this made exactly zero difference in the outcome of the race, even if a hundred [precinct captains] used it.

[RELATED: Flier Circulates Offering Voters ‘Fast Cash’ to Fill Seats at Jeb Bush Rally]

Those investigating this teapot tempest should simply judge the email objectively, by what was written. The press was indeed reporting that Dr. Carson was taking time off after the caucuses, which was accurately reflected in the email,” added Kurtinitis. “Despite unquantifiable accusations of ‘hinting’ or ‘insinuating,’ it is evident that the Cruz campaign simply repeated the report, as a report, and asked their precinct folks to pass the news.

Carson said according to Time, “So, I just want you to know I’m not going anywhere. And, you know, this latest set of dirty tricks just intensifies my desire to work extremely hard to break down the ugliness in this system and bring it back to we the people with we the people at the pinnacle and the government below us to facilitate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

CNN reported that Ted Cruz later apologized to Carson. “Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story,” Cruz said a statement according to CNN. “That’s fair game. What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.”

For more election coverage, click here.

Ben Carson Threatens to Leave GOP if Leaders Engage in ‘Back Room Deals’

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson repeated his threat to leave the GOP on Sunday, claiming that he was “out of here” if Republican leaders were going to engage in “back room deals.”

More than 20 Republican officials reportedly met last week at a dinner held by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to discuss the possibility of “a brokered convention” if billionaire mogul Donald Trump emerges as the GOP nominee, according to a report from the Washington Post.

A brokered convention, where delegates would select the GOP nominee for 2016 through a vote on the convention floor in Cleveland, would only occur if the leading GOP candidate “failed to win a simple majority of 2,472 delegates by the time the final state primary contests complete in June of next year.”

Carson responded on Friday, claiming that “if the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described” in the report.

[pull_quote_center]These are the kinds of things that have resulted in the very corrupt system that has no integrity. And it’s why people don’t trust government anymore. We need to get away from that.[/pull_quote_center]

Carson went on to suggest that he would consider leaving the GOP if the report proved to be true, due to the fact that he believes such meetings are “the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters.”

“If this was the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters and replace it with the will of the political elite, I assure you Donald Trump will not be the only one leaving the party,” Carson said. “I pray that the report in The Post this morning was incorrect. If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: Is Ben Carson the Latest Victim of Flawed Media Investigations?]

During an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Carson was asked if he was “prepared to make good on that threat.”

“Well, one of the reasons that I got into this is because I heard the frustration in the people who are so tired of back room deals, of subterfuge, of dishonesty,” Carson replied. “And, you know, if that is the case, then you know I’m out of here.”

Carson claimed that he has “subsequently spoken to Reince Priebus,” who assured him that the kind of meeting described was a routine meeting, and that “the last thing they would do is engage in back room dealing.”

“But, you know, the jury is out,” Carson concluded. “We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on things.”

On Friday, Carson said he has no intention of running as an independent candidate if he is to drop out of the GOP race. “I have no intention of running as an Independent,” he said. “But I certainly don’t want to be part of the corruption.”

For more election coverage, click here.

LOTFI: News You May Have Missed While Media Obsessed Over Starbucks

NOVEMBER 10, 2015– Over the past several days, the media has been obsessing over Starbucks’ decision to use plain red coffee cups with their green logo rather than their traditional holiday season coffee cups which are typically embellished with winter-type scenes.

Calling for a boycott, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump decided to get in on the Starbucks action as he threatened to cancel the company’s lease in his New York Trump Tower.

One Christian group says the move by the coffee giant is part of the “War on Christmas”. The media has been obsessing ever since.

As a former employee of Starbucks, I can tell you that the company has never recognized Christmas as anything other than a marketing opportunity. They’ve never had strong “Christ-centered” messages on their Christmas season products, so red cups are nothing new. What’s more, I can’t quite comprehend why anyone is upset over this. Would the same people force a boycott against a Jewish owned business for not celebrating Christmas? Not likely.

Last time I checked, the snowmen, reindeer and wrapped presents Starbucks featured on their cups in the past have nothing to do with Christmas. Besides, if what’s on a coffee cup makes or breaks your Christmas, you’re probably not doing it right. By the way, Starbucks still has a slew of products with the word “Christmas” written all over them.

Meanwhile, here is some actual news…

Ben Carson Isn’t A Liar

Just before the media started obsessing over the color of cup Starbucks uses, they were obsessing over ways to destroy GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson. They just couldn’t wait to get their hands on some juicy information to slam Carson into the ground as he continues his ascent to the top of the 2016 GOP field. Since they couldn’t find any such damning information, they simply made it up.

Truth In Media’s Barry Donegan wrote:

[pull_quote_center]Political journalism organization Politico has come under fire this week after it published an article that first accused Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson of lying about being verbally offered a scholarship by a West Point recruiter before it was edited to reflect the fact that Politico’s confirmation that Carson did not follow through with the admissions process at West Point does not itself constitute proof that Carson lied about anything.[/pull_quote_center]

Carson proved them wrong and demanded an apology. Politico made a slight edit to their story, but never apologized.

Of course, the damage was already done. Thousands of headlines across the country accused Carson of being a liar and fabricating his story. Media never ran thousands of headlines damning Politico for what Carson referred to as “tabloid journalism”. Instead, the they decided to focus on coffee cups.

Federal Judge Halts NSA Data Collection

On Monday, Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an injunction against the National Security Agency (NSA), which temporarily put an end to the agency’s bulk metadata collection.

According to US News, Leon is the first and only district court judge to rule against the NSA program.

Feds Train Syrian Rebels With A Price Tag of $2 Million Per Rebel

Congress recently passed a bill that allocated $500 Million to train a new fighting force of more than 3,000 “pro-American” Syrian rebels.

As it turns out, only 190 rebels were trained at a cost of $2 million per rebel. After spending $384 Million of the $500 Million, the program was abandoned last month. Approximately 95 of those trained actually ended up fighting in Syria. The rest are unaccounted for.

The Pentagon has recently vowed to spend even more tax dollars by providing new weapons to Syrian rebels.

United States Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul (Ky.) has been a vocal critic of arming the Syrian rebels.

Just recently, large swaths of these U.S. backed rebels switched their allegiance, taking with them all of the weapons and training funded by American tax-payers.

Guantanamo Bay Prison Closing?

A Republican controlled Congress recently passed a $670-billion defense bill that provides aid to Kiev and Syrian rebels. However, there’s one provision of the bill that President Obama isn’t happy with. The bill keeps GITMO open.

The White House is planning to push an Executive Order forward in order to shut down GITMO regardless of what Republicans have called for. Although the White House admits it’s not quite certain whether or not the Executive Order is even constitutional, they plan to push forward anyway.

“The focus of our efforts right now is on Congress and there are members of Congress who share this goal [closing GITMO] and who have indicated at least an openness to working with the administration to achieve this goal. That’s the focus of our efforts right now. I’m not aware of any ongoing effort to devise a strategy using only the President’s executive authority to accomplish this goal, but I certainly wouldn’t take that option off the table,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday. “There are a wide range of thorny, legal questions that are raised by this ongoing effort to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. I wouldn’t sort of speculate on those right now. These are obviously, in some cases because of the unique nature of this facility, in some cases we’re in uncharted legal waters here but, the President made clear from his first week in office that closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay is a national security priority.”


Have you heard the media reporting the fact that Bill Clinton is an honorary co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates? No? Didn’t think so…

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Questions Raised About Credibility of Politico Hit Pieces on Trump, Paul, Carson

Political journalism organization Politico has come under fire this week after it published an article that first accused Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson of lying about being verbally offered a scholarship by a West Point recruiter before it was edited to reflect the fact that Politico’s confirmation that Carson did not follow through with the admissions process at West Point does not itself constitute proof that Carson lied about anything.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised across the conservative blogosphere about other Politico articles that have been driving similarly-negative narratives about Republican candidates. For example, the media-driven narrative that Rand Paul’s campaign is on a downward spiral relies heavily on an primarily anonymously-sourced Politico piece making that claim.

Another article‘s headline oversells a pro-Carson tweet by Kentucky Governor-elect Matt Bevin and Bevin’s reluctance to endorse anyone in the 2016 presidential race during a gubernatorial campaign debate as a “snub” of Rand Paul, despite being updated to include a Bevin response to the contrary. Another Politico article on Paul claims that anonymous Republican strategists of thus-unverifiable significance are calling for him to drop out of the presidential race to focus on his Ky. Senate run.

An anonymously-sourced Politico piece on Donald Trump accuses him of violating a campaign pledge by secretly courting wealthy GOP donors including the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Paul Singer.

In an interview with Donald Trump, Breitbart’s Stephen K. Bannon decried a Politico article on Trump which he said had “novelistic tendencies” and added, “I don’t think there were any named sources.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Ron Paul Talks Media Bias, Rand Paul Campaign]

Trump told Bannon, “I find Politico to be one of the most dishonest organizations I have ever dealt with. They are, in my opinion, some of the most dishonest people I have ever dealt with. Generally, it is not true what they write… I was in Phoenix. We had thousands of people. We had a tremendous rally. Politico said it was 4000 people. The next day Sen. Bernie Sanders was there — he had a smaller crowd and Politico said he had 15,000.

In a later story, Politico said they were reducing the 4,000 to 2,000. … They were so dishonest… Maybe they don’t like me. I have always heard that they were liberal-leaning. But I don’t know why. … We get very dishonest coverage from Politico and eventually that catches up to you,” added Trump.

[RELATED: Trump: Fed Chair Yellen Not Raising Rates ‘Because Obama Told Her Not To’]

Another article dismissing allegations that Hillary Clinton’s private emails contain classified information had relied on an anonymous source, though the protection of sources amid the intelligence community, where leaks can have life or death consequences, is different than the shrouding of the opinions of Republican Party or presidential candidates’ campaign officials.

Politico has not yet responded to a Truth in Media request for a comment on its use of anonymous sources in its reporting on Republican presidential candidates.

Ben Carson Says He Opposes Legal Pot, Would ‘Intensify’ Drug War

2016 GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson told Glenn Beck on Wednesday that he opposes the legalization of marijuana and that he would “intensify” the federal government’s War on Drugs.

During a rapid-fire question-and-answer session on Glenn Beck’s radio program, seen in the above-embedded video at around the 1:30 mark, Beck asked Carson, “Do you continue the War on Drugs?

Absolutely,” replied Carson. “I intensify it.”

Glenn Beck followed up, “Let me ask you a question. How? I mean, it doesn’t seem to be working now.

Carson responded, “Well, go down to the border in Arizona like I was a few weeks ago. I mean, it’s an open highway, and the federal government isn’t doing anything to stop it.

Continuing his rapid-fire questioning, Beck asked, “Legalize marijuana?

I disagree with it,” responded Carson.

[RELATED: Christie Tells Colo. Pot Smokers to “Enjoy It” Now As He Will Bust Them As President]

During the round of questions, Carson also called warrantless NSA spying “terrible,” said that he supports building “the right kind” of border fence, and called for the development of a “double fence” with increased border patrols. He said that he would deport undocumented immigrants “if they qualify as illegals,” but that he would “give people the ability to register in a certain period of time and if they have pristine records and they are willing to work as guest workers under the circumstances that we survive, they could stay.

But they don’t become citizens and they don’t vote,” he added. He also said that he supports fining businesses that hire undocumented workers.

Carson said that he would not have invaded Iraq in 2003 based on what is known now, but he feels that U.S. ground troops are needed there now as a “stabilizing force” against ISIS.

[RELATED: Ben Carson: U.S. Dollar ‘Not Based on Anything. Why Would We Be Continuing to Do That?’]

Carson offered his support for domestic oil drilling and the development of the Keystone Pipeline. He also stated his opposition to national educational standards and expressed that, unless the organization changes, he supports de-funding and withdrawing U.S. participation from the United Nations.

For more election coverage, click here.

Jeb Bush Campaign Orders Major Spending Cuts

MIAMI, October 23, 2015– Only four short months ago, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Miami. Today, the campaign is letting go of various senior advisers and campaign staff. At least 40 percent of the payroll will be cut, and the campaign is also slashing 45 percent of its budget.

One Bush adviser told Bloomberg Politics in an interview Friday morning that the team was “unapologetic” about the changes, saying the moves were from a “position of strength.”

“This is about winning the race,” the adviser said. “We’re doing it now and making the shifts with confidence. We expect to win.”

So far, the establishment pick has raised $24.8 million. Meanwhile, Super PACs supporting his candidacy have raised $108.5 million. However, a war-chest totaling more than $133 million has yet to save Bush’s candidacy.

Almost $25 million has already been spent in support of Bush’s candidacy, which is more than any other candidate. Speaking of money, the campaigns of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have each raised more money than Bush. If it weren’t for wealthy Super PAC donors, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson would have more cash on hand to support their candidacies that Bush would.

Carson, who now leads the Republican field in Iowa, seemed somewhat shocked by the news that Bush was being forced to make such drastic cuts.

“This is a little bit surprising, but you know a lot of his money, of course, was super-PAC money as opposed to campaign money,” Carson said in an interview that is scheduled to air on With All Due Respect today on Bloomberg TV. “That doesn’t give you as much flexibility, quite frankly.”

As Bush announced his candidacy in July, he did so as a front-runner receiving nearly 18 percent of the vote in polls. Since then, his lead has dropped by nearly 11 points as he currently only captures 7.2 percent of the vote. Businessman Donald Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz all currently enjoy more support in the polls than Bush.

Some have questioned if the recent cuts could signal the end of Bush’s candidacy.

For more election coverage, click here.

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Ben Carson: U.S. Dollar ‘Not Based on Anything. Why Would We Be Continuing to Do That?’

During an interview on economics last week, 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson raised questions about U.S. monetary policy and said that as president he would not authorize any government spending increases.

Outlining his government spending policy, Carson told Marketplace:

[pull_quote_center]If we simply refuse to extend the budget by one penny for three to four years, you got a balanced budget. Just like that. So this is not pie in the sky, very difficult thing to accomplish. Having said that, one of the bugaboos that has kept us from reducing government in the past is sacred cows. What I would do is first of all, allow the government to shrink by attrition. Don’t replace the people who are retiring, thousands of them each year. And No. 2: Take every departmental head, or sub-department head and tell them, ‘I want a 3 to 4 percent reduction.’ Now anybody who tells me there’s not 3 to 4 percent fat in virtually everything that we do is fibbing to themselves.[/pull_quote_center]

When Carson was asked by Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal whether he would support now-routine increases to the U.S. debt limit, he replied, “Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut… I would provide the kind of leadership that says, ‘Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period.’

[RELATED: Ben Carson Says He Would Secure U.S.-Mexico Border with Drone Strikes]

He added, “I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops. You’re always gonna ask the same question every year. And we’re just gonna keep going down that pathway. That’s one of the things I think that the people are tired of.

Carson then raised questions about America’s fiat monetary system and said that it enables out-of-control spending:

[pull_quote_center]Now the only reason that we can sustain that kind of debt is because of our artificial ability to print money, to create what we think is wealth, but it is not wealth, because it’s based upon our faith and credit. You know, we decoupled it from the domestic gold standard in 1933, and from the international gold standard in 1971, and since that time, it’s not based on anything. Why would we be continuing to do that?[/pull_quote_center]

Responding to a question asking him to pinpoint the gravest issue facing the U.S. economy, Carson said, “I think our debt is horrendous. You know, one of the things that happens with this level of debt is that it’s very difficult for the Fed to raise interest rates. And why is that such a problem? Well it used to be that Joe the Butcher would take 5 percent of his earnings every week and put it into a savings account. And he would watch that grow over two, or three, or four decades. And by the time he was ready to retire, he was in good shape. Now, poor people and middle-class people really don’t have a mechanism to grow their money. The only people who can grow their money are people who have a certain risk tolerance. And those tend to be upper-income people who can utilize the stock market.

Noticing what appeared to be Carson’s anti-Federal Reserve rhetoric, Ryssdal asked him to comment specifically on the Federal Reserve and its chair Janet Yellen. Carson balked at the chance to criticize either directly and said, “Well, you know, I’ve known Janet Yellen for a long time. We’ve served on boards together, and she’s a very intelligent individual, very responsible, and obviously is trying to do what she thinks is right. But she’s caught between a rock and a hard place, and I understand that. And that’s why I would tend to really put the emphasis on driving down our debt, because that’s how we begin to correct the problem. You know, unless we correct the fundamental problems, all the other stuff we’re doing isn’t going to matter that much.

Carson also said that early wealthy American industrialists built the foundation for America’s economic engine. “You know, the Europeans, they looked over here and they saw the Rockefellers, and the Vanderbilts, and the Fords, and the Kelloggs, and the Carnegies, and the Mellons, and they said you can’t run a country like that. You’ve gotta have an overarching government that receives all the funding and equity that redistributes it, so we actually inspired socialism.”

“But all of those people that I just mentioned,” Carson continued, “they didn’t just hoard money and pass it down from generation to generation, they built the infrastructure of our country. They build the transcontinental railroads and seaports and textile mills and factories that enabled the development of the most powerful and dynamic middle class the world has ever seen, which rapidly propelled us to the pinnacle,” he said.

Commenting on Carson’s questioning of America’s fiat currency system, Washington Post writer Matt O’Brien implied that the retired neurosurgeon is not a “candidate of serious policy,” criticized the concept of a gold dollar standard, and defended the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of interest rates.

Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken then challenged O’Brien’s critique of Carson on the issue. “Without a hint of irony, O’Brien suggests that interest rates guided by the market simply lack the wisdom of our current PhD Standard,” said McMaken.

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Carson Says He Would Consider Evidence That a Suspect’s Religion Shows Probable Cause For Searches

2016 Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said on Sunday’s episode of ABC’s The Week that he does not feel that religion should be considered a type of probable cause for investigating U.S. Syrian refugees, but that he would be willing to listen to arguments by those who feel that it should.

During the interview, ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz challenged Carson to defend his recent controversial comments suggesting that he would be opposed to supporting a Muslim American for president.

Carson modified his position and clarified that “anybody, it doesn’t matter what their religious background, if they accept American values and principles and are willing to subjugate their religious beliefs to our Constitution, I have no problem with them.

Raddatz then asked Carson whether he believes that all Muslims support the imposition of Sharia law.

Carson replied, “What we should be talking about is Islam and the tenets of Islam and where do they come from? They come from Sharia. They come from the Quran. They come from, you know, the life works and examples of Muhammad. They come from the fatwas, which is the writings of scholars. You know, and if you go back and you look at — what I would like for somebody to show me is an approved Islamic text that opposes Sharia.

He continued, “If you can show me that, I will begin to alter my thinking on this, but, right now, when you have something that is against the rights of women, against the rights of gays, subjugates other religions and a host of things that are not compatible with our Constitution, why in fact would you take that chance?

[RELATED: Ben Carson Says He Would Secure U.S.-Mexico Border with Drone Strikes]

Proposing a hypothetical scenario for consideration, Raddatz asked, “I want to turn to the migrant crisis. You told me a few weeks ago that bringing in people from the Middle East right now carries extra danger and we can not put our people at risk because we are trying to be politically correct. Let’s imagine some of those refugees get into the United States. For authorities to track emails, cell phone calls, they usually need to have probable cause. Do you think in some instances religion should be enough for probable cause?

Carson responded, “I personally don’t feel that way, but I would certainly be willing to listen to somebody who had evidence to the contrary. I think that’s one of the problems, we get to our little corners, and we don’t want to listen to anybody anymore.

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Rand Paul Confirms That He Believes President Obama Is Christian, Was Born in U.S.

Following 2016 Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s remarks on NBC’s Meet the Press indicating that he would not support a Muslim for president of the United States, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer posed the same question to U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday.

You know, the Constitution says there will be no religious test, and, when I ran for office, there were some people who insinuated I wasn’t a good enough Christian to run for office, so I’m pretty sensitive about people saying that your religion is not pure enough,” said Paul, referring to attacks on his religion by his 2010 Senate race opponent Jack Conway.

He added, “There’s nothing precluding a Muslim from holding office, and we do have several Muslims who I think are conscientious and well-meaning in Congress and some who I’ve actually worked with on legislation, criminal justice reform, but I do think there would be some questions to ask. Do you believe literally that a woman should be stoned to death for adultery? Do you believe that when someone steals something, their hand should be cut off?

[RELATED: Petition: A Joint Town Hall with Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders]

Senator Paul then pointed to the poor womens’ rights records of Muslim-led countries like Saudi Arabia and Brunei, suggesting that a Muslim candidate would need to clarify that his or her interpretation of Islam comports with U.S. views on gender.

Blitzer then pressed Paul to say whether he would personally support a Muslim for president.

Sure,” Paul replied. “If they support the things that made America great—constitutional principles, Bill of Rights—but some of those are inconsistent with the interpretation of the Quran that’s being put forward, particularly by some folks.

Paul added, “These are important questions to ask if you have someone who’s Muslim running for office. Do you think violence is O.K.? Do you think Sharia law should be the law of the land? Do you think that the 9/11 bombings were O.K.? For goodness’ sake, I surely wouldn’t vote for any Christian or Muslim that thought, you know, that violence was a way to shape your religious views.

The above-embedded video clip concludes with Paul confirming that he believes that U.S. President Barack Obama is a Christian and that he was born in the United States.

On Monday, Ben Carson modified his position and said that he could support a moderate Muslim president who denounces radical Islam and that he would not support anyone “whose faith might interfere with carrying out the duties of the Constitution.

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GOP Debate: Candidates Go After Frontrunner Donald Trump

The second GOP debate of the 2016 presidential election season aired on CNN on Wednesday night, and during over three hours of debate, several of the 11 candidates took their time as an opportunity to criticize the current GOP frontrunner.

Billionaire mogul Donald Trump has made headlines since announcing that he was running for president in June, both for rising to the top spot in national polls, and for his comments along the way.

[quote_box_center]“I’ve only been a politician for about three months and obviously I’ve been pretty successful, because I’m number one in every poll,” Trump said at Wednesday’s debate.[/quote_box_center]

After several minutes of candidates bickering back and forth, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who was polling at 2 percent before the debate, jumped in and in addition to noting that the candidates were not “talking about real issues,” he threw his own jab at Trump.

[quote_box_center]“This is actually what’s wrong – this is what’s wrong with this debate. We’re not talking about real issues,” Walker said. “And Mr. Trump, we don’t need an apprentice in the White House. We have one right now.”[/quote_box_center]

[RELATED: Poll- Who Do You Think Won The Main Stage CNN Debate?]

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who was polling at 6 percent, also threw his hat in the ring when it came to the issue of gambling. After talking about his record in Florida, Bush noted that Trump was the “one guy that had some special interests” who tried to get him to change his views.

[quote_box_center]“The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something – that was generous and gave me money – was Donald Trump,” Bush said. “He wanted casino gambling in Florida.”[/quote_box_center]

Trump insisted that Bush’s claim was “totally false.”

Bush then said, “You wanted it and you didn’t get it because I was opposed.”

“I would have gotten it,” Trump interjected. “I promise I would have gotten it.”

Carly Fiorina, who was polling at 4 percent compared to Trump’s 27 percent according to a poll taken before the debate, was allowed in the debates after CNN recently changed its rules.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, published on Sept. 9, when shown a picture of Fiorina, Trump’s expression reportedly “sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina.”

“Look at that face!” Trump said. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

[quote_box_center]When asked to respond to his comment, Florina said, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”[/quote_box_center]

While many candidates took the opportunity to criticize Trump, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was polling at 23 percent, right behind Trump’s 27 percent before the debate, accepted a high five in the form of a handshake.

“I voted to not go to war, okay?,” Carson said, regarding opposition to the Iraq War in 2003. In response, Trump reached out to high-five Carson. Carson turned the exchange into a handshake.

For more election coverage, click here.

Ben Carson Now Tied With Donald Trump For Iowa Top Spot

IOWA, August 31, 2015– Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has been riding a post-debate wave of support that has lifted him to the top spot in the latest Iowa GOP primary poll.

According to Monmouth University’s poll released on Monday:

[quote_box_center]When Iowa Republicans are asked who they would support in their local caucus, Ben Carson (23%) and Donald Trump (23%) tie for the top spot. The next tier of candidates includes Carly Fiorina (10%) and Ted Cruz (9%), followed by Scott Walker (7%), Jeb Bush (5%), John Kasich (4%), Marco Rubio (4%), and Rand Paul (3%). The last two Iowa caucus victors, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, each garner 2% of the vote.[/quote_box_center]

“These results mark a significant shake-up in the leaderboard from Monmouth’s Iowa poll taken before the first debate,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ. “Carson and, to a lesser extent, Fiorina have surged, while Walker has faded into the background.”

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Ben Carson Says He Would Secure U.S.-Mexico Border with Drone Strikes

Controversy erupted last week when 2016 Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson suggested that, as president, he would use drone strikes to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Commenting on what steps he would take in an effort to stop the travel of undocumented immigrants across America’s southern border during a visit with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in Florence, AZ, Carson told KPHO-TV reporter Dennis Welch, “You look at some of these caves that are out there — one drone strike, boom, and they’re gone. And they’re easy to find.

In the above-embedded clip from Sunday’s episode of CNN’s State of the Union, Ben Carson went into greater detail and told CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta that he would order drone strikes, not to kill people, but to target caves that he claims smugglers utilize to hide undocumented immigrants along the border.

Appearing frustrated at the media’s suggestion that his drone strike plan might be used to target people such as members of drug cartels, Carson clarified, “That’s a total lie. What I said is it’s possible that a drone could be used to destroy the caves that are utilized to hide people. Those need to be gotten rid of.” Carson claimed that “scouts and the people who are facilitating illegal activity” utilize a network of caves on the border to hide immigrants in preparation for entry into the United States and that his strikes on those caves would be timed to avoid targeting people.

[RELATED: Carson and Cruz Surge in Latest Poll]

Read my lips,” said Carson, “Listen very carefully to what I’m saying. I said there are caves that they utilize. Those caves can be eliminated. There are a number of possibilities, that could be one of them. I’m not talking about killing people. No people with drones.

Carson also called for broader use of the military and the National Guard to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Carson And Cruz Surge In Latest Poll

August 17, 2015– In the latest GOP Presidential Primary poll, Dr. Ben Carson and United States Senator Ted Cruz (R- TEXAS) continue to see a post-debate surge.

Among 381 likely Republican primary voters, Carson finds himself in 2nd place with 12 percent of the vote behind billionaire reality TV star Donald Trump who captured 25 percent of the vote. Capturing 10 percent of the vote, Cruz came in 3rd place.

The Fox News Poll was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers August 11-13, 2015 among a random national sample of 1,008 registered voters. 381 likely Republican primary voters are used in the poll. 

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Fox News Announces Candidate Lineup for Aug. 6 GOP Presidential Debate

Fox News has announced the candidates who qualified for its August 6 prime-time Republican presidential primary debate, which is set to kick off at 9 p.m. EST at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Anchors Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Megyn Kelly will moderate the televised event. Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party have been tapped as sponsors.

Candidates set to participate in the prime-time debate include billionaire Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Fox News chose to limit its prime-time debate to only 10 participants and selected qualified candidates based on a top 10 average of 5 recent polls by Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox News, Quinnipiac University, and Monmouth University.

However, in response to complaints that serious candidates with low poll numbers are being left out of the top-tier debate, the news network has invited those who did not qualify to appear in a 60-minute junior varsity debate, moderated by Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum, which will appear on Fox News at 5 p.m. on August 6, prior to the prime-time contest. Those who fell short of the top 10 include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The network’s prime-time debate pre-show coverage will begin immediately after the junior varsity debate.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded optimistically to his failure to qualify for the prime-time contest and tweeted, “I look forward to being @FoxNews 5pm debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas & positive solutions to get America back on track.

However, according to CNN, Matt Beynon, a spokesperson for former Sen. Rick Santorum, called the candidate selection process “incredibly flawed” and said, “While FOX is taking a lot of heat, the [Republican National Committee] deserves as much blame for sanctioning this process. They should not be picking winners and losers. That’s the job of the voters, particularly those in Iowa and New Hampshire who have the role of voting first.

Following Fox News’ announcement, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Our field is the biggest and most diverse of any party in history and I am glad to see that every one of those extremely qualified candidates will have the opportunity to participate on Thursday evening. Republicans across the country will be able to choose which candidate has earned their support after hearing them talk through the issues.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich almost fell short of being chosen for the prime-time debate, which is taking place in his home state. However, his 3% polling average, tying him with Chris Christie for last place among those participating, was just enough to qualify.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

14 GOP Presidential Hopefuls to Face Off in Aug. 3 Forum on C-SPAN, Trump Not Attending

The New Hampshire Union Leader has launched a C-SPAN-televised August 3 forum for 2016 Republican presidential candidates, and 14 candidates have confirmed their participation. The question-and-answer style event, which is not an official Republican National Committee-sanctioned presidential debate, will take place at the Dana Center at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. at 7 p.m. EST and is scheduled to run for two hours.

The Voters First Republican Presidential Forum was launched by the New Hampshire Union Leader in response to a rising chorus of complaints over Fox News’ decision to exclude candidates with low poll numbers from its August 6 prime time debate at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Fox has said it will serve as the first primary and ‘winnow’ the field on Aug. 6. We and our partners think the voters of our states should continue to play that role. Our forum will give voters a chance to see the larger field of candidates and will give the voters a chance to have their issues addressed,” said New Hampshire Union Leader publisher Joseph W. McQuaid.

[RELATED: Fox News Moves Second-Tier GOP Presidential Debate to More Visible Time Slot]

The New Hampshire forum is currently set to feature all of the currently-announced prominent Republican candidates save for two, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee’s absence from the list of participating candidates was not explained by the Union Leader, so it could be possible that he will confirm his participation at a later time. Candidates set to participate include Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki.

According to the Union Leader, “Candidate Trump bowed out because, an aide said, he was upset with a Union Leader editorial this week that mocked him for saying that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero. McCain, shot down by the North Vietnamese, suffered years of torture after refusing to be released early because his father was an admiral.

Last Tuesday, billionaire Donald Trump reportedly wrote a letter to McQuaid explaining his refusal to participate, which read, “…knowing you as I do, I feel it is unlikely I will be getting the endorsement from you and the Union Leader. I have made a great fortune based on instinct and that, unfortunately, is my view. Therefore, and for other reasons including the fact that I feel there are too many people onstage to have a proper forum, I will not be attending.

The forum will be moderated by WGIR radio personality Jack Heath. According to the Union Leader, “The Voters First Forum is being co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier, and the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette. Broadcast co-sponsors are iHeart radio, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids; and WLTX-TV in Columbia, S.C. The forum will be broadcast nationally by C-SPAN. New England viewers will be able to watch on NECN. It will be broadcast locally by NH1/WBIN-TV in New Hampshire, as well as by the South Carolina and Iowa stations. It will also air live on NHPR.

Event organizers are asking the public to submit suggestions of issues to discuss at the forum.

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Dr. Ben Carson: Prisons Are Proof People Choose to be Gay

While appearing on CNN’s “New Day”, potential GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson stated that being gay is “absolutely” a choice. “New Day” host Chris Cuomo asked Carson why he thought homosexuality was a choice.

Carson responded: “Because a lot of people 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.”

Carson went on to say, “Here is what is important. Why do gay people want to get married? Why do they say they want to get married? Because they want to have various rights — property rights, visitation rights. Why can’t any two human beings, I don’t care what their sexual orientation is, why can’t they have the legal right to do those things? That does not require changing the definition of marriage.”