Debate Guide: Do you want to chat about the 2016 Presidential Race?

Ben Carson

Foreign Policy

BLITZER: Dr. Carson, is the Middle East better off with dictators? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: No one is ever better off with dictators but there comes a time you know, when you're on an airplane, they always say, "in case of an emergency oxygen masks will drop down. Put yours on first and then administer help to your neighbor." We need oxygen right now. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

And we need to start thinking about the needs of the American people before we go and solve everybody else's problems. The fact of the matter is, is that the Middle East has been in turmoil for thousands of years. For us to think that we're going to in there and fix that with a couple of little bombs and a few little decorations is relatively foolish.

BLITZER: Dr. Carson, what would you do about Kim Jong-Un? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: Well, I definitely believe that he is unstable, and I do, in fact, believe that China has a lot more influence with him than we do. But we also recognize that North Korea is in severe financial straits, and they have decided to use their resources to build their military, rather than to feed their people and to take care of the various humanitarian responsibilities that they have. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: We can capitalize upon that. You know, we should use our economic power in lots of different ways. I think we can use that in order to keep Putin contained, because he is a one-horse show. Energy. And we have an abundance of energy, but we have archaic energy exportation rules. We need to get rid of those, allow ourselves to really make Europe dependent on us and other parts of the world dependent on us for energy. Put him back in his little box where he belongs. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: And, you know, we need to be doing lots of other things with the resources that we have. So economic power works just as well as military power, perhaps even better. And speaking of that, our Military needs to be upgraded. You know, you look at things like our Ohio Class submarines, they're 25 years old. Our minuteman 3 missiles -- they are 34 years old. Our B-52 bombers -- 50 years old. You know, if we don't get the military right nothing else matters. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

BARTIROMO: Dr. Carson, you were against putting troops on the ground in Iraq and against a large military force in Afghanistan. Do you support the president's decision to now put 50 special ops forces in Syria and leave 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: Well, putting the special ops people in there is better than not having them there, because they -- that's why they're called special ops, they're actually able to guide some of the other things that we're doing there. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

And what we have to recognize is that Putin is trying to really spread his influence throughout the Middle East. This is going to be his base. And we have to oppose him there in an effective way. We also must recognize that it's a very complex place. You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there.

CARSON: What we've been doing so far is very ineffective, but we can't give up ground right there. But we have to look at this on a much more global scale. We're talking about global jihadists. And their desire is to destroy us and to destroy our way of life. So we have to be saying, how do we make them look like losers? Because that's the way that they're able to gather a lot of influence. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: And I think in order to make them look like losers, we have to destroy their caliphate. And you look for the easiest place to do that? It would be in Iraq. And if -- outside of Anbar in Iraq, there's a big energy field. Take that from them. Take all of that land from them. We could do that, I believe, fairly easily, I've learned from talking to several generals, and then you move on from there. But you have to continue to face them, because our goal is not to contain them, but to destroy them before they destroy us. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

TAPPER: Dr. Carson? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: I haven't had an opportunity to weigh in on foreign policy, and I just want to mention that when the war, when the issue occurred in 2003, I suggested to President Bush that he not go to war? OK. So I just want that on the record. And, you know, a lot of people are very much against us getting involved right now with global jihadism. And they refer back to our invasion of Iraq. And they seem to think that that was what caused it. What caused it was withdrawing from there and creating a vacuum which allowed this terrible situation to occur. But it is very different from what is going on today. We're talking about global jihadists who actually want to destroy us. They are an existential threat to our nation. And we have to be mature enough to recognize that our children will have no future if we put our heads in the sand. We have to recognize we have two choices. We either allow them the continue to progress and appear to be the winners, or we use every resource available to us to destroy them first. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

TAPPER: Dr. Carson? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Well, recognize that, you know, President George W. Bush is a great friend of ours, and we spent many wonderful days at the White House. I haven't been there in the last seven years. I probably have to have a food-tester. But at any rate, I didn't suggest that nothing be done. What I suggested to President Bush is to be Kennedy-esque, in the sense that when the Russians got ahead of us in the space race, what we did is use the bully pulpit to galvanize everybody, business, industry, academia behind a national goal to put a man on the moon and bring him back safely. I said, you can do the same kind of thing. Declare that within five to 10 years we will become petroleum independent. The moderate Arab states would have been so concerned about that, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks. There are smart ways to do things and there are muscular ways to do things. And sometimes you have to look at both of those to come up with the right solution. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

TAPPER: Dr. Carson? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: I have no argument with having a strong leader, and to be aggressive where aggression is needed. But it is not needed in every circumstance. There is a time when you can use your intellect to come up with other ways to do things. And I think that's what we have to start thinking about. There is no question that a lot of these problems that we have been talking about in terms of the international situation is because we are weak. It is because our Navy is so small. It is because our Air Force is incapable of doing the same things that it did a few years ago. It's because our Marines Corps is not ready to be deployed. There are a lot of problems that are going on, and we need to solve those problems, we need to build up our military... (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, before we go to break, could you give us your sense of this conversation about either MedicAid, or economic growth through taxation?

CARSON: Well, first of all, let me just mention on the tax issue. Ben, go read about it because my tax plan has been praised by Kato, by Wall Street Journal. Forbes said it is the best, the most pro-growth tax plan, and it's based on real fairness for everybody. Starts at the 150% poverty level, but even the people below that have to pay something because everybody has to have skin in the game, and the millions of people can't, you know, talk about what other people have to pay and have no skin in the game.

And, it deals with corporate tax rate, and makes it the same as everybody else...

CARSON: ... Everybody pays exactly the same.

BARTIROMO: Thank you, sir. Dr. Carson... ... it is true U.S. companies have $2 trillion in cash sitting overseas right now. That could be used for investment and jobs in America. Also, several companies right now are pursuing mergers to move their corporate headquarters abroad, and take advantage of much lower taxes. What will you do to stop the flow of companies building cash away from America, and those leaving America altogether? (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CARSON: Well, I would suggest a fair tax system, and that's what we have proposed. A flat tax for everybody -- no exemptions, no deductions, no shelters, because some people have a better capability of taking advantage of those than others. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

You know, and then the other thing we have to do is stop spending so much money. You know, I -- my -- my mother taught me this. You know, she only had a third-grade education, but -- you know, she knew how to stretch a dollar.

I mean, she would drive a car until it wouldn't make a sound, and then gather up all her coins and buy a new car. In fact, if my mother were secretary of treasury, we would not be in a deficit situation. But...

CARSON: ... you know, the -- the -- the fact of the matter is -- you know, if we fix the taxation system, make it absolutely fair, and get rid of the incredible regulations -- because every regulation is a tax, it's a -- on goods and services. And it's the most regressive tax there is. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CARSON: You know, when you go into the store and buy a box of laundry detergent, and the price has up -- you know, 50 cents because of regulations, a poor person notices that. A rich person does not. Middle class may notice it when they get to the cash register. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

And everything is costing more money, and we are killing our -- our -- our people like this. And Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will say it's those evil rich people.

It's not the evil rich people. It's the evil government that is -- that is putting all these regulations on us so that we can't survive.

CAVUTO: First off, Dr. Carson, to you. You say you are in favor of a tax system, I guess akin to tithing, sir, with a flat tax rate of up to 15 percent because you said, if everybody pays this, I think God is a pretty fair guy, so tithing is a pretty fair process. But Donald Trump says that is not fair. That wealthier taxpayers should pay a higher rate because it's a fair thing to do. So whose plan would God endorse then, Doctor? Yours or Mr. Trump's? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: Well, you know, when I say tithing, I'm talking about the concept of proportionality. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CAVUTO: Right.

CARSON: Everybody should pay the same proportion of what they make. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. You get same rights and privileges. I don't see how anything gets a whole lot fairer than that. But you also have to get rid of all the deductions and all the loopholes because that is the thing that tilts it in one direction or another. And you have to set the rate at an appropriate level.

CARSON: Now I will say that, there are a lot of people who say, if you get rid of the deductions, you ruin the American dream because, you know, home mortgage deduction. But the fact of the matter is, people had homes before 1913 when we introduced the federal income tax, and later after that started deductions. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: And they say there will be no more charitable giving. We had churches before that and charitable organizations before that. The fact of the matter is, I believe if you put more money in people's pockets that they will actually be more generous rather than less generous. And it's... (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

... the money that they earned.

And, the other thing is, I do care about the poor people. And in the system that we're putting together, there will be a rebate for people at the poverty level. But I also want to emphasize the fact that as we get the economy moving, and I hope I get a question about how do we get the economy moving, there will be a lot more opportunities for poor people not to be poor people because this is America. This is the land of dreams. And our policies should be aimed at allowing people to realize that dream.

QUICK: Dr. Carson, let's talk about taxes. You have a flat tax plan of 10 percent flat taxes, and -- I've looked at it -- and this is something that is very appealing to a lot of voters, but I've had a really tough time trying to make the math work on this. If you were to took a 10 percent tax, with the numbers right now in total personal income, you're gonna come in with bring in $1.5 trillion. That is less than half of what we bring in right now. And by the way, it's gonna leave us in a $2 trillion hole. So what analysis got you to the point where you think this will work? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: Well, first of all, I didn't say that the rate would be 10 percent. I used the tithing analogy. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

QUICK: I -- I understand that, but if you -- if you look at the numbers you probably have to get to 28.

CARSON: The rate -- the rate -- the rate is gonna be much closer to 15 percent.

QUICK: 15 percent still leaves you with a $1.1 trillion hole.

CARSON: You also have to get rid of all the deductions and all the loopholes. You also have to some strategically cutting in several places. Remember, we have 645 federal agencies and sub-agencies. Anybody who tells me that we need every penny and every one of those is in a fantasy world. So, also, we can stimulate the economy. That's gonna be the real growth engine. Stimulating the economy -- because it's tethered down right now with so many regulations...

QUICK: You'd have to cut -- you'd have to cut government about 40 percent to make it work with a $1.1 trillion hole. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: That's not true. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

QUICK: That is true, I looked at the numbers.

CARSON: When -- when we put all the facts down, you'll be able to see that it's not true, it works out very well.

QUICK: Dr. Carson, let me get 30 seconds with Dr. Carson... (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: Let me just say, if you're talking about an $18 trillion economy, you're talking about a 15 percent tax on your gross domestic product. You're talking about $2.7 trillion. We have a budget closer to $3.5 trillion. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

But if you also apply that same 15 percent to several other things, including corporate taxes, and including the capital gains taxes, you make that amount up pretty quickly. So that is not by any stretch a pie in the sky.

CRUZ: Becky, if you want a 10 percent flat tax where the numbers add up, I rolled out my tax plan today, you can find it on line at It is a simple flat tax where for individuals, a family of four pays nothing on the first $36,000. After that you pay 10 percent as a flat tax going up. The billionaire and the working man, no hedge fund manager pays less than his secretary. On top of that, there is a business flat tax of 16 percent. Now that applies universally to giant corporations that with lobbyists right now are not paying taxes, and as small business.

And you wanted to know the numbers, the Tax Foundation, which has scored every one of our plans, shows that this plan will allow the economy to generate 4.9 million jobs, to raise wages over 12 percent, and to generate 14 percent growth.

And it costs, with dynamic scoring, less than a trillion dollars. Those are the hard numbers. And every single income decile sees a double-digit increase in after-tax income.

CRUZ: Growth is the answer. And as Reagan demonstrated, if we cut taxes, we can bring back growth.

TAPPER: Dr. Carson, you support scrapping the entire tax code and replacing it with a flat tax based on the principal on tithing from the Bible. If you make $10 billion, you pay $1 billion in taxes, if you make $10, you pay $1 in taxes. Donald Trump believes in progressive taxation. He says it's not right that rich people pay the same as the poor. Tell Donald Trump why his ideas on taxes are wrong. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: It's all about America. You know, the people who say the guy who paid a billion dollars because he had 10, he has still got $9 billion left, that's not fair, we need to take more of his money. That's called socialism. That doesn't work so well. What made America into a great nation was the fact that we said, that guy just put in $1 billion, let's create an environment that's even more conducive to his success so that next year he can put in $2 billion. And that's the kind of thing that helps us to grow. We can't grow by continuing to take a piece of pie,and dividing it, and redistributing it. But, I'm also looking at what doctor -- at what Governor Huckabee talked about... (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: You don't want me operating on you, I assure you. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: The Fair Tax. Looking at both of them, and evaluating them both, and I'm talking to the American people because one of the things we must recognize is that this country is of, for, and by the people. And, it's really time that the government get out of the way, and let the people be the ones who decide how they want to run their country. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

BAIER: Dr. Carson... (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

BAIER: Dr. Carson, do you agree with that?

CARSON: What I agree with is that we need a significantly changed taxation system. And the one that I've advocated is based on tithing, because I think God is a pretty fair guy. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

And he said, you know, if you give me a tithe, it doesn't matter how much you make. If you've had a bumper crop, you don't owe me triple tithes. And if you've had no crops at all, you don't owe me no tithes. So there must be something inherently fair about that.

And that's why I've advocated a proportional tax system. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. And everybody gets treated the same way. And you get rid of the deductions, you get rid of all the loopholes, and...


DICKERSON: All right. Well, Dr. Carson, I have got a question now for you. A moment of pause here. You have said, Dr. Carson, that -- referring to yourself that people bought into the idea that, quote, "A nice person can't be tough on terrorists." You have called for loosening the rules of engagement for the military, which could lead to more civilian casualties. So, explain why those casualties would be acceptable in the fight against ISIS?

CARSON: Well, first of all, let me just address the Iraq question.

You know, I was not particularly in favor of us going to war in Iraq, primarily because I have studied, you know, the Middle East, recognizing that those are nations that are ruled by dictators and have been for thousands of years. And when you go in and you remove one of those dictators, unless you have an appropriate plan for replacing them, you're going to have chaos.

Now, fortunately, we were able to stabilize the situation, and it was the current administration that turned tail and ran and destabilized the situation.

Now, having said that, in terms of the rules of engagement, I was talking about, you know, Obama has said, you know, we shouldn't bomb tankers, you know, coming out of refineries because there may be people in there, or because the environment may be hurt. You know, that's just asinine thinking. And the fact of the matter is...

You know, we -- obviously, you're not going to accomplish all of your goals without some collateral damage. You have to be able to assess what is acceptable and what is not.

RADDATZ: Dr. Carson? (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

CARSON: I want to say something about this, because I'm not here just to add beauty to the stage. You know, I've been talking about Libya for quite a long time. I think I was the first one to start talking about it because I say we have to have a proactive foreign policy strategy. And of course, the next place that ISIS is going to attack to is Libya. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

If you want to expand your caliphate and increase your influence, then you're going to go to a place that's strategically located. You go north, across the Mediterranean. You're into southern Europe. You go south, you're into Chad and Sudan and Niger. Not to mention the fact that you have much more oil than you do in Iraq. That's the kind of place that they're going to go to, therefore, we need to be thinking about how do we prevent them from tacking over there. They're already sending their fighters there, we need to be consulting with our military experts and asking them what do they need in order to prevent ISIS from being able to take over Libya. That's going to have enormous concede for us.

RADDATZ: And would you support renewed airstrikes? (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

CARSON: I would support the possibility of renewed airstrikes if in conjunction with our Joint Chiefs and our military people they felt that was an appropriate strategy. The fact of the matter is none of us up here is a military expert, and we sometimes act like we are, but we're not. And if we actually sit down and talk with them and get them to understand our plan and their impression of what needs to be done, I think we're going to make a lot more progress. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

BARTIROMO: Now in their 16th month are ineffective. Dr. Carson, do you think Senator Graham is right in wanting to send 20,000 troops -- ground troops to Iraq and Syria to take out ISIS? (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CARSON: Well, there's no question that ISIS is a very serious problem, and I don't believe that this administration recognizes how serious it is. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

I think we need to do a lot more than we're doing. Recognize that the caliphate is what gives them the legitimacy to go out on a jihadist mission, so we need to take that away from them.

The way to take that away from them is to talk to our military officials and ask them, "what do you need in order to accomplish this goal?"

Our decision is, then, do we give them what we need. I say, yes, not only do we give them what they need, but we don't tie their hands behind their backs so that they can go ahead and get the job done.

In addition to that...

CARSON: ... in addition to that, we go ahead and we take the oil from them, their source of revenue. You know, some of these -- these engagement rules that the administration has -- "we're not going to bomb a tanker that's coming out of there because there might be a person in it" -- give me a break. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

Just tell them that, you put people in there, we're going to bomb them. So don't put people in there if you don't want them bombed. You know, that's so simple. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

And then we need to shut down -- we need to shut down their mechanisms of funding and attack their command-and-control centers. Why should we let their people be sitting there smoking their cigars, sitting in their comfortable chairs in Raqqa?

We know to go ahead and shut off the supply routes, and send in our special ops at 2:00 a.m. and attack them everywhere they go. They should be running all the time, then they won't have time to plan attacks against us.

BLITZER: Dr. Carson. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: Please join me for a moment of silence and remembrance of the San Bernardino victims. Thank you. You know, our country since its inception has been at war, every 15 or 20 years. But the war that we are fighting now against radical Islamist jihadists is one that we must win. Our very existence is dependent upon that. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

You know, as a pediatric neurosurgeon, I frequently faced life and death situations, and had to come up with the right diagnosis, the right plan, and execute that plan frequently with other colleagues. Right now, the United States of America is the patient. And the patient is in critical condition and will not be cured by political correctness and will not be cured by timidity. And I am asking the Congress, which represents the people, to declare a war on ISIS so that we can begin the process of excising that cancer and begin the healing process, and bring peace, prosperity, and safety back to America.

BLITZER: Dr. Carson, what is your strategy? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: First of all, I've been talking about this for over a year. We have to destroy their caliphate because that gives them legitimacy to go ahead with the global Jihad. We have to take their energy because they are -- ISIS is the richest terrorist organization there is. We have to take their oil, shut down all of the mechanisms whereby they can disperse money because they go after disaffected individuals from all over the place, and they're able to pay them. That makes a difference. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON:As far as the command centers are concerned in Raqqa and to a lesser degree Mosul, cut those off. Do the same kind of thing that we did with Sinjar a few weeks ago, working with our embedded special forces with the Kurds, shut off the supply route, soften them up, then we go in with specials ops followed by our air force to take them over. Those are things that work. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: But also, you know, this whole concept of boots on the ground, you know, we've got a phobia about boots on the ground. If our military experts say, we need boots on the ground, we should put boots on the ground and recognize that there will be boots on the ground and they'll be over here, and they'll be their boots if we don't get out of there now. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

KELLY: Dr. Carson, in one of his first acts as commander in chief, President Obama signed an executive order banning enhanced interrogation techniques in fighting terror. As president, would you bring back water boarding? (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

CARSON: Well, thank you, Megyn, I wasn't sure I was going to get to talk again. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

KELLY: We have a lot for you, don't worry.

KELLY: Fear not, you may rue that request.

CARSON: Alright. You know, what we do in order to get the information that we need is our business,and I wouldn't necessarily be broadcasting what we're going to do.

CARSON: We've gotten into this -- this mindset of fighting politically correct wars. There is no such thing as a politically correct war.

CARSON: The left, of course, will say Carson doesn't believe in the Geneva Convention, Carson doesn't believe in fighting stupid wars. And -- and what we have to remember is we want to utilize the tremendous intellect that we have in the military to win wars.

And I've talked to a lot of the generals, a lot of our advanced people. And believe me, if we gave them the mission, which is what the commander-in-chief does, they would be able to carry it out. And if we don't tie their hands behind their back, they will do it... extremely effectively.


HARWOOD: Hold on, Governor. I've got a question for -- for Dr. Carson. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: About Medicare? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HARWOOD: Yes. You've said that you would like to replace Medicare with a system of individual family savings accounts, so that families could cover their own expenses. Obviously, that would be a very controversial idea. Explain how that would work, exactly.

CARSON: Well, first of all the -- the plan gives people the option of -- of opting out. But I think they will see a very good option here. You know, the annual Medicare budget is over $600 billion. And there are 48 million people involved -- 40 million, 65 and over, and 8 million other. Divide that out. That comes out to $12,500 for each one. Now, I can tell you there are a lot of private-sector things that you could do with $12,500, which will get you a lot more than you get from this government program. And that's really a theme of a lot of the things that I'm talking about. How do we utilize our intellect rather than allowing the government to use its, quote, "intellect," in order to help us to be able to live healthier and better lives? It was never intended that the government should be in every aspect of our lives. This is a country that is of, for and by the people.

National Security

BARTIROMO: Dr. Carson, the president says he does not want to treat ISIS as a foreign army, but ISIS is neither a country nor a government. How do you attack a network that does not respect national borders? (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CARSON: Well, I'm very happy to get a question this early on. I was going to ask you to wake me up when that time came. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

You know, I find it really quite fascinating some of the president's proclamations. The fact of the matter is he doesn't realize that we now live in the 21st century, and that war is very different than it used to be before. Not armies massively marching on each other and air forces, but now we have dirty bombs and we have cyber attacks and we have people who will be attacking our electrical grid. And, you know, we have a whole variety of things that they can do and they can do these things simultaneously. And we have enemies who are obtaining nuclear weapons that they can explode in our exoatmosphere and destroy our electric grid.

I mean, just think about a scenario like that. They explode the bomb, we have an electromagnetic pulse. They hit us with a cyberattack simultaneously and dirty bombs. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue at that point? He needs to recognize that those kinds of things are in fact an existential threat to us.

But here's the real key. We have the world's best military, even though he's done everything he can to diminish it. And the fact of the matter is if we give them a mission and we don't tie their hands behind their back, they can get it accomplished.

BLITZER: Dr. Carson, you're in favor of monitoring mosques and schools where there is anti-America sentiment, what do you consider anti- America? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: First of all, let me just complain a little bit. This is the first time I've spoken and several people have had multiple questions so please try to pay attention to that. Now, as far as monitoring is concerned, what my point is, we need to make sure that any place - I don't care whether it's a mosque, a school, a supermarket, a theater, you know it doesn't matter. If there are a lot of people getting there and engaging in radicalizing activities then we need to be suspicious of it. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

We have to get rid of all this PC stuff. And people are worried about if somebody's going to say that I'm Islamophobic or what have you. This is craziness because we are at war. That's why I asked congress, go ahead and declare the war . We need to be on a war footing. We need to understand that our nation is in grave danger. You know, what the Muslim Brotherhood said in the explanatory memorandum that was discovered during the Holy Land Foundation Trial was that, "they will take advantage of our PC attitude to get us. :" We have to be better than this. We have to be smarter than they are.


KELLY: Dr. Carson, this week a female Muslim who served in the U.S. Air Force asked Hillary Clinton the question, she asked whether the United States is still the best place in which to raise her three Muslim children. Given what she perceives as a rise in Islamaphobia in this country. Do you think the GOP messaging on Muslims has stoked the flames of bias on this as the Democrats suggest, and how would you answer this veteran? (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

CARSON: Well, I don't know about the GOP messaging, but I can tell you about my messaging. You know, need to stop allowing political correctness to dictate our policies, because it's going to kill us if we don't. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

CARSON: And in the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2006 in Texas, they had a memorandum, an explanatory memorandum that talked about the fact that Americans would be easy to overcome and to commit civilization jihad because they were going to be trying to protect the rights of the very people who were trying to subvert them. But I believe in the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy. Teddy Roosevelt said, we are a nation of immigrants. As such, everybody is welcome from any race, any country, any religion, if they want to be Americans. If they want to accept our values and our laws. If not, they can stay where they are.

KELLY: Let's go to a Youtube question. Let's get to a Youtube question. This is a question from a Youtube creator with over 2 million subscribers. Watch. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

QUESTION: I'm Dulce Candy, a Youtube creator who immigrated to the United States from Mexico when I was a little girl. Since then, I am proud to say I served in the armed forces in Iraq, became a citizen and I am now an entrepreneur. There are many immigrants who contribute positively to the American economy, but some of the comments in the campaign make us question our place in this country. If America does not seem like a welcoming place for immigrant entrepreneurs, will the American economy suffer?

KELLY: Dr. Carson, that's one -- that one's for you.

CARSON: Oh, great. As I said before, we are a land of immigrants, but we have to be intelligent about the way that we form our immigration policies, and that's one of the reasons that I have called on us to declare war on the Islamic State because we need to reorient our immigration policies and our visa policies for people who are coming into this country because there are many people out there who want to destroy us. Now, I recognize that the vast majority of people coming in here probably are not those kinds of people, but that's not good enough. If you've got 10 people coming to your house and you know one of them is a terrorist, you're probably going to keep them all out. You know, we probably have to figure out a way to make sure that we keep America safe. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

BARTIROMO: Dr. Carson, where do you stand? Do you agree with Mr. Trump? (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CARSON: Well, first of all, recognize it is a substantial problem. But like all of our problems, there isn't a single one that can't be solved with common sense if you remove the ego and the politics. And clearly, what we need to do is get a group of experts together, including people from other countries, some of our friends from Israel, who have had experience screening these people and come up with new guidelines for immigration, and for visas, for people who are coming into this country. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

That is the thing that obviously makes sense, we can do that. And as far as the Syrians are concerned, Al-Hasakah province, perfect place. They have infrastructure. All we need to do is protect them, they will be in their own country.

And that is what they told me when I was in Jordan in November. Let's listen to them and let's not listen to our politicians.

TAPPER: I want to bring in Dr. Carson because he too has been skeptical of your plan to immediately deport 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants. He said, quote, "People who say that have no idea what this entails." Why do you say that, Dr. Carson? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Well, first of all, I recognize that we have an incredible illegal immigration problem. I was down in Arizona a few weeks ago at the border. I mean, the fences that were there were not manned,and those are the kind of fences when I was a kid that would barely slow us down. So, I don't see any purpose in having that. Now, what we need to do is look at something that actually works. Yuma County, Arizona. They stop 97 percent of the illegal immigrants through there. They put in a double fence with a road so that there was quick access by the enforcement people. If we don't seal the border, the rest of this stuff clearly doesn't matter. It's kind of ridiculous all the other things we talk about. We have the ability to do it, we don't have the will to do it. There was one area where they had cut a hole in the fence, and to repair it, they put a few strands of barb wire across. Well, the photographers who were there with us, they wanted to photograph us from the side of the Mexicans, and they went through there, and they were not physically fit people,and they took their cameras and things with them, and shot us from the other side. That's how easy it is to get across. And, the drugs, I mean, it goes on, and on, and on. ICE tells them to release these people, 67,000 criminals released on to our property, it's ridiculous. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

TAPPER: With all due respect, you said about Donald Trump's plan to deport 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants, "People who say that have no idea what this entails." Why not? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Well, I have also said, if anybody knows how to do that, that I would be willing to listen.And, if they can, you know, specify exactly how that's going to be done, and what the cost, and it sounds reasonable, then I think it's worth discussing. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

TAPPER: Well, how would you say it, sir? I was just reading the Wall Street Journal quote, but please tell us.

CARSON: Well, what I said, after we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don't have people coming in here, including employment, that people who had a pristine record, we should consider allowing them to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural sphere, because that's the place where Americans don't seem to want to work. That's what I said. And they have a six-month period to do that. If they don't do it within that time period, then they become illegal, and as illegals, they will be treated as such.

TAPPER: Senator Cruz describes plans such as yours as amnesty. Why is your plan not amnesty? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: My plan is not amnesty for a number of reasons. Number one, you know, I've talked to farmers, and they said they cannot hire Americans to do the kind of job that I'm talking about. And the second reason is because the individuals who register as guest workers, they don't get to vote, they are not American citizens, and they don't get the rights and privileges of American citizens. So that's key. But the other thing that I want to bring up is, I mentioned something earlier. I think it was just sort of glossed over. I talked about the success in Yuma County, I mean, incredible success, and the Department of Justice said, "No, we don't want to do that. That's too successful." We don't have to keep reinventing the wheel. All we have to do is look at things that work. All we have to do is use a little common sense. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

Gay Rights

QUINTANILLA: Dr. Carson, we know you as a physician, but we wanted to ask you about your involvement on some corporate boards, including Costco's. Last year, a marketing study called the warehouse retailer the number one gay-friendly brand in America, partly because of its domestic partner benefits. Why would you serve on a company whose policies seem to run counter to your views on homosexuality? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: Well, obviously, you don't understand my views on homosexuality. I believe that our Constitution protects everybody, regardless of their sexual orientation or any other aspect. I also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. And there is no reason that you can't be perfectly fair to the gay community. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

They shouldn't automatically assume that because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman that you are a homophobe. And this is one of the myths that the left perpetrates on our society, and this is how they frighten people and get people to shut up. You know, that's what the PC culture is all about, and it's destroying this nation.

The fact of the matter is we the American people are not each other's enemies, it's those people who are trying to divide us who are the enemies. And we need to make that very clear to everybody.


DICKERSON: So if you were to be president, though, you wouldn't have the political foundation that hones those instincts when the two a.m. phone call comes. So isn't that a liability?

CARSON: No, it isn't. First of all, let me go back to your first question for me. It wasn't phrased as who gets to nominate Supreme Court appointees, of course that's the president. So I know that there are some left wing media who would try to make hay on that.

Secondly, thank you for including me in the debate. Two questions already. This is great. Now, as far... As far as those two a.m. phone calls are concerned, judgment is what is required. And the kinds of things that you come up with are some sometimes very, very difficult and very unique. One of the things that I was known for is doing things that have not been done before. So no amount of experience really prepares you to do something that has never been done before. That's where judgment comes in.

And that, I think, is a situation that we're in right now, a situation that we have never been in before with the kinds of threats that pose real danger to our nation, and it comes in very handy in those situations.

DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, I -- let me ask you a different question. When you were -- you were the first one, really, to talk about political correctness. Everybody now talks about it, but that was really what sparked your -- your rise. Politicians are often accused of glossing over any hard choices people have to make, just always selling happy, nice things. So in the -- in the spirit of saying something that might be politically incorrect, tell the voters something that they need to hear but that might be politically incorrect?

CARSON: Well, first of all, I'm not a politician, so I'm never going to become a politician. But here's what -- here's what people need to know. People need to know that free college is not -- it's a non-starter. You know, you have to look at our economic situation. We're on the verge of economic collapse and, you know, we're -- it's not just the $19 trillion, but it's also the $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

What we need to think about is what does that do to the average person? When we have a debt of that nature, it causes the Fed to change their policy, it causes the central bank to keep the -- the rates low, and who does does that affect? Mr. Average, who used to go to the bank every Friday and put part of his check in the bank and watch it grow over three decades and be able to retire with a nice nest egg, that's gone. That part of the American dream is gone.

All of these things are disappearing, and Bernie Sanders and people like Hillary Clinton blame it on the rich. They say those evil rich people, if we take their money we can solve the problem. It's not the evil rich people. It's the irresponsible evil government.

WALLACE: Dr. Carson, I want to pick up on that with you. Governor Kasich likes to say he knows how to land the plane. You've landed a lot of planes in the O.R. But what about the idea of running for president with no experience in government at all? (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

CARSON: Well, I will gladly confess that I'm the only one on this stage with no political title. You're not going to hear a lot of polished political speech from me, but you will hear the truth. And I don't think you have to be a politician to tell the truth. In fact, sometimes it's not that way.. and I've had more two a.m. phone calls than everybody here put together, making life and death decisions, put together very complex teams to accomplish things that have never been done before. And we are in a situation right now in our country that we have never been in before. We need people who think out of the box and can solve problems; can utilize the resources around them; very smart people, to focus on the problem and solve the problem. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

The American people are terrified. That's why we have this abnormal situation going on right now. We don't need more of the same solutions. We need different solutions to solve the problems and to save our nation.

HEWITT: Dr. Carson, Mr. Trump just committed to stay the distance regardless of the result. How about you? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: Well, you know, the statement that I made last week, that I would leave the party was contingent upon whether in fact the party acts like they have in the past with a lot of subterfuge and dishonesty, or like they're going act now because I spike to Reince Priebus, and he assured me that the Washington Post writer had it all wrong, and that they're not be engaging in anything to thwart the will of the people. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

That's why I got into this race, as a member of we the people, to try bring some honesty and integrity back to the process.

CAVUTO: Dr. Carson, to you. You recently railed against the double- standard in the media, sir, that seems obsessed with inconsistencies and potential exaggerations in your life story, but looked the other way when it came to then-Senator Barack Obama's. Still, as a candidate whose brand has always been trust, are you worried your campaign -- which you've always said, sir, is bigger than you -- is now being hurt by you? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: The fact of the matter is, you know, what -- we should vet all candidates. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with is being lied about and then putting that out there as truth. And I don't even mind that so much, if they do it about -- with everybody, like people on the other side. But, you know, when I look at somebody like Hillary Clinton, who sits there and tells her daughter and a government official that no, this was a terrorist attack, and then tells everybody else that it was a video. Where I came from, they call that a lie. And...

I think that's very different from, you know, somebody misinterpreting, when I said that I was offered a scholarship to West Point, that is the words that they used. But, I've had many people come and say the same thing to me. That is what people do in those situations. We have to start treating people the same, and finding out what people really think and what they're made of. People who know me know that I'm an honest person.

QUINTANILLA: One more question. This is a company called Mannatech, a maker of nutritional supplements, with which you had a 10-year relationship. They offered claims that they could cure autism, cancer, they paid $7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in Texas, and yet you're involvement continued. Why? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: Well, that's easy to answer. I didn't have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda. I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it's a good product. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

QUINTANILLA: To be fair, you were on the homepage of their website with the logo over your shoulder --

CARSON: If somebody put me on their homepage, they did it without my permission.

QUINTANILLA: Does that not speak to your vetting process or judgment in any way.

CARSON: No, it speaks to the fact that I don't know those -- (AUDIENCE BOOS) See? They know.

TAPPER: And more broadly, is experience in government not important for a president to have? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Typically, politicians do things that are politically expedient. And they are looking for whatever their particular goal is. That is not the reason that I have gotten into this thing. I'm extraordinary concerned about the direction of this country, the divisiveness that is going on, fiscal irresponsibility, the failure to take a leadership position in the world. All of those things will lead to a situation where the next generation will not have a chance that we've had now. So I don't -- I don't want to really get into describing who's a politician and who's not a politician, but I think the people have kind of made that decision for themselves already, and will continue to do so as time goes on. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

KELLY: Gentlemen, our first round of questions is on the subject of electability in the general election, and we start tonight with you, Dr. Carson. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

You are a successful neurosurgeon, but you admit that you have had to study up on foreign policy, saying there's a lot to learn.

Your critics say that your inexperience shows. You've suggested that the Baltic States are not a part of NATO, just months ago you were unfamiliar with the major political parties and government in Israel, and domestically, you thought Alan Greenspan had been treasury secretary instead of federal reserve chair.

Aren't these basic mistakes, and don't they raise legitimate questions about whether you are ready to be president?

CARSON: Well, I could take issue with -- with all of those things, but we don't have time. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

But I will say, we have a debate here tonight, and we will have an opportunity to explore those areas,and I'm looking very much forward to demonstrating that, in fact, the thing that is probably most important is having a brain, and to be able to figure things out and learn things very rapidly.

So, you know, experience comes from a large number of different arenas, and America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation, and that's what will get us on the right track now, as well.


WALLACE: Dr. Carson, I'd like to ask you about exactly that issue. Where are you on the mandatory ethanol standard, and precisely this question. Should government be in the business of picking winners and losers, or should it be left to the market place? (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

CARSON: Well, as anyone knows who's been listening to me, you know? I'm very much against the government being involved in every aspect of our lives, you know? We last year there was an additional 81,000 pages of government regulations. If you stack that up it would be a three-story building. This is absolutely absurd. And, they've insinuated themselves into everything. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

Now, as far as the renewable fuel standard is concerned, certain promises were made, certain government contracts were issued which extend all the way into the year 2022, and I believe that it's probably unfair to withdraw the rug because people have invested money. People have invested a lot of energy into that.

CARSON: But, you know, we are blessed with tremendous energy in this nation, and we need to be talking for new sources of energy. Seventy percent of our population lives by costly . What about hydroelectric power? We can develop that, you know? We have so much natural gas now, and we can liquify it, and we can transfer it across the sea so we can make Europe dependent on us instead of Putin -- put him back in his little box where he belongs. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

CARSON: Those are the kinds of things that we ought to be doing. And, you know, take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in energy that God has given us, not get involved in these little petty arguments. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

And we can get a lot of them out if we get the government out of our lives.

Campaign Finances

TAPPER: Sure Dr. Carson. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: You know, when I entered this race, all the political pundits said it's impossible; you can't do it because you're not connected with the money. And there's no way that you can raise what you need in order to compete successfully. I in no way am willing to get in the bed with special interest group or lick the boots of billionaires. I have said to the people if they want me to do this, please get involved. And we now have over 500,000 donations, and the money is coming in. But the pundits forgot about one thing, and that is the people. And they are really in charge. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

Closing Statement

BLITZER: Dr. Carson. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: I've been fortunate enough to travel to 58 different countries and I thank God everyday that I was born in this country. The most exceptional country that the world has ever known. And I want to make sure that we preserve that exceptionalism for the next generation. My mother told me if I work hard and I really believed in American principles and I believed in God, anything is possible. I believe that is true, and that's why I'm not anxious to give away American values and principles for the sake of political correctness. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CAVUTO: Dr. Ben Carson? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: In the two hours of this -- of this debate, five people have died from drug-related deaths, $100 million has been added to our national debt, 200 babies have been killed by abortionists, and two veterans have taken their lives out of despair. This is a narrative that we can change, not we the Democrats, not we the Republicans, but we the people of America, because there is something special about this nation, and we must embrace it and be proud of it and never give it away for the sake of political correctness. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HARMAN: Dr. Carson? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: I just want to thank all my colleagues here for being civil, and not falling for the traps. And, I also just want to thank the audience for being attentive, and noticing the questions, and the noticing the answers. And, this is what I am finding throughout America. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

People are waking up because it is going to be us who will determine the direction of our country. And, it was made for we the people, we are the ones who decide who we are, and we should never give away the values and principles that made America into a great nation for the sake of political correctness.

WALLACE: Dr. Carson, closing statement. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

CARSON: Well, I haven't said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

I'm the only one to separate siamese twins...

The -- the only one to operate on babies while they were still in mother's womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.

But I -- but I'm very hopeful that I'm not the only onel who's willing to pick up the baton of freedom, because freedom is not free, and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us must fight for it, because we're fighting for our children and the next generation.

Code Name

TAPPER: Here's the next lighthearted question, you all know that the United States Secret Service uses codenames for the president, andhis family. Ronald Reagan's codename, for example, was, "Rawhide", an homage to his performances in Westerns. Nancy Reagan's was, "Rainbow". You don't have to come up the one for your spouse, but, what would you want your Secret Service codename to be. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: One Nation. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

Criticizing Hillary

CARSON: Yes. Well, first of all, I think it would be a pretty easy contrast, quite frankly, between myself and Hillary Clinton. In one case, you have someone who is known as a deceitful individual. An individual who at Benghazi, which I will never let go, quite frankly, because I think of those two men who went up there on the top of that compound with machine guns, firing away, allowing their colleagues to escape. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

And I'm sure, in the back of their mind, they were just saying, if we can just hold on, help is on the way. But help was not on the way. When did we in the United States not send people to help our own people? You know, this is not who we are. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

CARSON: And -- I would simply make it a referendum on honesty and integrity versus deceit and the Washington way.

BARTIROMO: Dr. Carson, one of the other candidates on this stage has brought Bill Clinton's past indiscretions. Is that a legitimate topic in this election? And what do you think of the notion that Hillary Clinton is an enabler of sexual misconduct? (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CARSON: Well, there's not question that we should be able to look at past president whether they're married to somebody who's running for president or not in terms of their past behavior and what it means. But you know, here's the real issue, is this America anymore? Do we still have standards? Do we still have values and principles? (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

You know, you look at what's going on, you see all the divisiveness and the hatred that goes on in our society. You know, we have a war on virtual everything -- race wars, gender wars, income wars, religious wars, age wars. Every war you can imaging, we have people at each other's throat and our strength is actually in our unity.

You know, you go to the internet, you start reading an article and you go to the comments section -- you cannot go five comments down before people are calling each all manner of names. Where did that spirit come from in America? It did not come from our Judeo-Christian roots, I can tell you that. And wherever it came from we need to start once again recognizing that there is such a thing as right and wrong. And let's not let the secular progressives drive that out of us.

The majority of people in American actually have values and principles and they believe in the very things that made America great. They've been beaten into submission. It's time for us to stand up for what we believe in.

Facing Off Hillary

WALLACE: I know that all of you would like to answer this question, but we're only going to ask one other candidate before we move on to a different subject, Dr. Carson. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

Basically, same question to you. If Hillary Clinton is the nominee and she comes at you with that kind of line of attack, how will you take Iraq?

CARSON: If Hillary is the candidate, which I doubt, that would be a dream come true. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

But you know, the fact of the matter is, she is the epitome of the progressive -- the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uninformed, the Alinsky Model, taking advantage of useful idiots.

Well, I just happen to believe that people are not stupid.

And the way I will come at it is to educate people, help people to actually understand that it is that progressive movement that is causing them the problems.

You know, you look at the -- the national debt and how it's being driven up. If I was trying to destroy this country, what I would do is find a way to drive wedges between all the people, drive the debt to an unsustainable level, and then step off the stage as a world leader and let our enemies increase while we decreased our capacity as a military person. And that's what she's doing.

Financial Responsibility

STRASSEL: Moving subjects. Dr. Carson, this week Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $3.2 billion dollar fine to state and federal authorities for contributing to the mortgage crisis. You have a lot of Democrats out saying that we should be jailing more executives, so two questions. Should financial executives be held legally responsible for financial crisis, and do you think fines like these are an effective way to deter companies from future behavior like that?

CARSON: Well, first of all, please go to my website, and read my immigration policy, OK? Because it actually makes sense.

Now, the -- as far as these fines are concerned, you know? Here's the big problem. We've got all these government regulators, and all they're doing is running around looking for people to fine. And, we've got 645 different federal agencies, and sub-agencies. Way, way too many, and they don't have anything else to do.

I think what we really need to do is start trimming the regulatory agencies rather than going after the people who are trying to increase the viability, economic viability of our society. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't some people out there who are doing bad things. But, I'm not sure that the way to solve that problem is by increasing all the regulatory burden. You know, when you consider how much regulations cost us each year, you know? $2 trillion dollars per family, $24,000 per family, that happens to be the same level as the poverty level...

Government Subsidies

SANTELLI: Dr. Carson, you told The Des Moines Register that you don't like government subsidies, it interferes with the free market. But you've also said that you're in favor of taking oil subsidies and putting them towards ethanol processing. Isn't that just swapping one subsidy for another, Doctor? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: Well, first of all, I was wrong about taking the oil subsidy. I have studied that issue in great detail. And what I have concluded is that the best policy is to get rid of all government subsidies, and get the government out of our lives, and let people rise and fall based on how good they are. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

And -- you know, all of this too big to fail stuff and picking and choosing winners and losers -- this is a bunch of crap, and it is really causing a great deal of -- great deal of problems for our society right now.

And -- and -- you know, it goes back to the whole concept of regulations, which are in everything. The reason that I -- I hate them so much is because every single regulation costs in terms of goods and services.

That cost gets passed on to the people. Now, who are the people who are hurt by that? It's poor people and middle class. Doesn't hurt rich people if their bar of soap goes up ten cents, but it hurts the poor and the middle class.

And Bernie Sanders will tell them that it's because of the rich. Well, I'll tell you something: you can take everything from the top 1 percent, and you apply it to our fiscal gap, and you won't even make a dent in it.


TAPPER: I'd like to invite each candidate to take 30 seconds to introduce him or herself to our audience. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Hi, I'm Ben Carson, and I'm a retired pediatric neurosurgeon. I'm here with my wife, Candy, of 40 years, and two of my sons, and their wives. I stress the pediatric part of my career because the reason that I've gotten involved in this race is because I'm very concerned about the future of our children, and the direction of our country is one that does not portend well, unless we, the people, intervene and retake our rightful place at the pinnacle. And I just want to be make it clear that I'm grateful to be here with all of you again, and welcome the addition of Carly Fiorina, as well. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

Minimum Wage

CAVUTO: You suggested one minimum wage does not fit all, and that perhaps we should offer a lower or starter wage for young people. Those protesters outside are looking for $15 and nothing less. Where are you? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: As far as the minimum wage is concerned, people need to be educated on the minimum wage. Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. It's particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have a job, who are looking for one. You know, that -- and that's because of those high wages. If you lower those wages, that comes down. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: You know, I can remember, as a youngster -- you know, my first job working in a laboratory as a lab assistant, and multiple other jobs. But I would not have gotten those jobs if someone had to pay me a large amount of money. But what I did gain from those jobs is a tremendous amount of experience, and how to operate in the world and how to relate to different people, and how to become a responsible individual. And that's what gave me what I needed to ascend the ladder of opportunity in this country. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

That's what we need to be thinking about. How do we allow people to ascend the ladder of opportunity, rather than how do we give them everything and keep them dependent? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CAVUTO: So, sir, just to be clear, you would not raise it?

CARSON: I would not raise it. I would not raise it, specifically because I'm interested in making sure that people are able to enter the job market and take advantage of opportunities.

TAPPER: Dr. Carson, Governor Walker didn't really answer the question, but I'll let you respond. He called raising the Federal Minimum Wage lame, what do you think of that? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Well, first of all, let me say what I actually said about raising the minimum wage. I was asked should it be raised, I said, probably, or possibly. But, what I added, which I think is the most important thing, so, I said we need to get both sides of this issue to sit down, and talk about it. Negotiate a reasonable minimum wage, and index that so that we never have to have this conversation again in the history of America. I think we also have to have two minimum wages, a starter, and a sustaining because how are young people ever going to get a job if you have such a high minimum wage that it makes it impractical to hire them... (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


DICKERSON: Doctor...

CARSON: ... And, as far as Medicare and MedicAid, my main goal is to get rid of Obamacare, and put the care back in the hands of (INAUDIBLE)...The free market wants what it wants.

GARRETT: ... Dr. Carson...

DICKERSON: ... Dr. Carson, I'm sorry we have to go to a commercial.

HAM: Dr. Carson, you have some experience with this matter. In the past, you have said that Obamacare should be replaced before it's repealed. How and why? (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

CARSON: Well, thank you. You know, I was hoping to get a chance to talk about North Korea. I was the only one who didn't get to do that, and I've got stuff to say about it, let me tell you. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

But at any rate, you have to replace it with something that makes sense. It doesn't make sense. And the reason that I dislike Obamacare is because the government comes in and tells the people -- which the nation is supposed to be centered on -- that we don't care what you think, this is what we're doing. And if you don't like it, too bad. That's a problem. And we can't afford to do that because that will fundamentally change America.

I have proposed a health empowerment account system. Everybody gets a health empowerment account the day they are born, they keep it until they die. They can pass it on. We pay for it with the same dollars that we pay for traditional health care with, recognizing that we spend twice as much as many countries per capita and health care and don't have as such access.

CARSON: We give people the ability to shift money within their health empowerment account so that each family basically becomes its own insurance company without a middleman; that saves you a awful lot of money. And that will lower the cost of your catastrophic insurance tremendously, because the only thing coming out of that is catastrophic health care. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

CARSON: And then in terms of taking care of the indigent, we have another whole system, and I can go ahead and explain it, but I don't have the time, but I'd be happy to if you give me some more time. But go to my website, read about it. You can read about everything that's been discussed here in great detail. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

Price Control

CRAMER: Dr. Carson, in recent weeks, a number of pharmaceutical companies has been accused of profiteering, for dramatically raising the prices of life-saving drugs. You have spent a lifetime in medicine. Have these companies gone too far? Should the government be involved in controlling some of these price increases? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: Well, there is no question that some people go overboard when it comes to trying to make profits, and they don't take into consideration the American people. What we have to start thinking about, as leaders, particularly in government, is what can we do for the average American? And you think about the reasons that we're having such difficulty right now with our job market. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

Well, the average small manufacturer, whatever they're manufacturing, drugs or anything, if they have less than 50 employees, the average cost in terms of regulations is $34,000 per employee. Makes it a whole lot easier for them to want to go somewhere else. So what we're going to have to start doing instead of, you know, picking on this group or this group, is we're going to have to have a major reduction in the regulatory influence that is going on. The government is not supposed to be in every part of our lives, and that is what is causing the problem.


KELLY: Dr. Carson, a question to you about God and his role, but also, one of the issues that the public was very interested in, and we touched on it earlier, is race relations in this country, and how divided we seem right now. And what, if anything, you can do -- you would do as the next president to help heal that divide. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

CARSON: Well, I think the bully pulpit is a wonderful place to start healing that divide. You know, we have the purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it, and drive wedges into people. And this does not need to be done. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

What we need to think about instead -- you know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don't I talk about race that often. I said it's because I'm a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. And you say -- I said, you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I'm actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn't make them who they are. The hair doesn't make them who they are. And it's time for us to move beyond that.

CARSON: Because -- our strength as a nation comes in our unity. We are the United States of America, not the divided states. And those who want to divide us are trying to divide us, and we shouldn't let them do it.


CARSON: Neil, I was mentioned too. (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CAVUTO: You were? (sixth GOP debate, Jan. 14, 2016)

CARSON: Yeah, he said everybody.

And -- and I just want to take this opportunity to say, you know, in the 2012 election, you know, we -- and when I say we, Republicans -- tore themselves apart.

You know, we have to stop this because, you know, if we manage to damage ourselves, and we lose the next election, and a progressive gets in there and they get two or three Supreme Court picks, this nation is over as we know it. And we got to look at the big picture here.

Role Of Commander In Chief

HEWITT: Neurosurgeon. And people admire and respect and are inspired by your life story, your kindness, your evangelical core support. We're talking about ruthless things tonight -- carpet bombing, toughness, war. And people wonder, could you do that? Could you order air strikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands? Could you wage war as a commander-in-chief? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: Well, interestingly enough, you should see the eyes of some of those children when I say to them we're going to have to open your head up and take out this tumor. They're not happy about it, believe me. And they don't like me very much at that point. But later on, they love me. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

Sometimes you -- I sound like him. You know, later on, you know, they really realize what's going on. And by the same token, you have to be able to look at the big picture and understand that it's actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job, rather than death by 1,000 pricks.

HEWITT: That is what war -- can you be as ruthless as Churchill was in prosecuting the war against the Nazis? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: Ruthless is not necessarily the word I would use, but tough, resolute, understanding what the problems are, and understanding that the job of the president of the United States is to protect the people of this country and to do what is necessary in order to get it done. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

HEWITT: Dr. Carson, commander-in-chief question again. You've been the head of neurosurgery for a big hospital. You're on a lot of boards of a lot of companies. You've traveled the world. You're going traveling again next week. But does that prepare you to command troops from Djibouti to Japan, troops from Afghanistan to Iraq to be in charge of the men and women watching on Armed Services Network tonight? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: Well, you know, there's a false narrative that only the political class has the wisdom and the ability to be commander-in- chief. But if you go back and you study the design of our country, it was really designed for the citizen statesman. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

And we need to be talking about where does your experience come from? You know, and I've had a lot of experience building things, organizing things, you know, a national scholarship program.

One of the things that you'll notice if you look through my life is that I don't do a lot of talking. I do a lot of doing. And really, it says more about a person than how much they talk. And then some people say you're weak because, you know, you're not loud and you're not boisterous and you're not rude. But the fact of the matter is, look and see what I've done. And that speaks volumes about strength.


BAIER: Dr. Carson, many experts believe Russian leader Vladimir Putin has greater ideas, bigger designs for the region beyond Russia's actions inside Ukraine. Fast forward to February 2017 and it is President Carson, and Russian uniformed commandos cross the Estonian border and they occupy a city in Estonia. Estonia, a member of NATO, essentially invokes Article IV, an attack on one is an attack on all. What do you do? (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

CARSON: Look, first of all, I recognize that Vladimir Putin is an opportunist and he's a bully, and we have to face him down. And I would -- first of all, face him down in that whole region, the whole Baltic region. I think we need to put in some armored brigades there. We only have one or two. We need much more than that. We need to be doing military exercises if not only Estonia but Latvia and Lithuania. They're terrified by the saber rattling. I think we ought to put in our missile defense system. (seventh GOP debate, Jan. 28, 2016)

I think we ought to give Ukraine offensive weapons and I think we ought to fight them on the economic basis because Putin is a one- horse country: oil and energy. And we ought to fight them on that level.

We ought to be helping in terms of the technology for fracking, keeping the price low, quite frankly, because that's what's keeping him contained. So, yes, I'd absolutely would go in if he attacked. I think on Article IV of NATO, we would definitely protect all of our allies.

Supreme Court

DICKERSON: Dr. Carson. Dr. Carson, you, like others, put out a statement after the death was announced, and you said the president should delay. You've written a book on the constitution recently. What does the constitution say about whose duty it is here to act in this kind of a situation?

CARSON: Well, the current constitution actually doesn't address that particular situation, but the fact of the matter is the Supreme Court, obviously, is a very important part of our governmental system. And, when our constitution was put in place, the average age of death was under 50, and therefore the whole concept of lifetime appointments for Supreme Court judges, and federal judges was not considered to be a big deal.

Obviously that has changed, and it's something that probably needs to be looked at pretty carefully at some point. But, we need to start thinking about the divisiveness that is going on in our country. I looked at some of the remarks that people made after finding out that Justice Scalia had died, and they were truly nasty remarks. And, that we have managed to get to that position in our country is truly a shame. And, we should be thinking about how we could create some healing in this land.

But, right now, we're not going to get healing with President Obama. That's very United Nationsclear. So, I... Fully agree that we should not allow a judge to be appointed during his time.


BLITZER: So, Dr. Carson, you recently visited a refugee camp in Jordan and you deemed it your words, "really quite nice." Saying the people there didn't want to come to the United States. Do you think these camps are a long-term solution of the problem of Syrian refugees? (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: Well, it was very interesting having an opportunity to talk to the Syrians themselves. And I asked them: What do you want? What is your supreme desire? Their supreme desire was to be settled back in their own country. I said, "What can Americans and other countries do?" They said, "Support the efforts of those who are trying to provide safety for us, including the Jordanians." (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

Of course, they had a brand new hospital, for instance, that was unstaffed because there wasn't enough money to do it. But here's what's really neat. If you go into Hasakah province in northeast Syria, that's an area that's as big as Lebanon. It's controlled by the Kurds, the Christians and the moderate Sunnis. And there are airstrips and hotels. You could settle a lot of people there.

CARSON: All we would have to do is be willing to provide them with some weaponry, some defensive weaponry. And we seem to be afraid to give the Kurds weaponry. We like to send it for some strange reason through Baghdad, and then they only get a tenth of it. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

CARSON: And if we would support them, we'd have a perfect ideal there. We don't need to set this up as we either take a bunch of refugees who will be infiltrated with terrorists, I guarantee you. For them not to be would be terrorist malpractice. And we need to -- to choose the right choice, not these false choices. (fifth GOP debate, Dec. 15, 2015)

Use Of Military Force

BAIER: Dr. Carson, in August of 2012 President Obama famously declared Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, quote, "that's a redline for us," and that there would be enormous consequences. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

One year later, and with overwhelming evidence the Assad had, in fact, used chemical weapons andcrossed that red line, President Obama declined to use military force against the Assad regime.

As president, would you have used military force there?

CARSON: Well, what we have to stop and think about is that we have weakened ourselves militarily to such an extent that if affects all of our military policies. Our Navy is at its smallest size since 1917; our Air Force, since 1940. In recent testimony, the commandant of the Marine Corps said half of the non-deployed units were not ready and you know, the sequester is cutting the heart out of our personnel. Our generals are retiring because they don't want to be part of this, and at the same time, our enemies are increasing. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

Our -- our friends can't trust us anymore. You know, Ukraine was a nuclear-armed state. They gave away their nuclear arms with the understanding that we would protect them. We won't even give them offensive weapons. You know, we turned our back on Israel, our ally. You know, and a situation like that, of course Obama's not going to be able to do anything. I would shore up our military first, because if you don't get the military right, nothing else is going to work.


TAPPER: A backlash against vaccines was blamed for a measles outbreak here in California. Dr. Carson, Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly linked vaccines, childhood vaccines, to autism, which, as you know, the medical community adamantly disputes. You're a pediatric neurosurgeon. Should Mr. Trump stop saying this? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Well, let me put it this way, there has -- there have been numerous studies, and they have not demonstrated that there is any correlation between vaccinations and autism. This was something that was spread widely 15 or 20 years ago, and it has not been adequately, you know, revealed to the public what's actually going on. Vaccines are very important. Certain ones. The ones that would prevent death or crippling. There are others, there are a multitude of vaccines which probably don't fit in that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases. But, you know, a lot of this is pushed by big government. And I think that's one of the things that people so vehemently want to get rid of, big government. You know, we have 4.1 million federal employees. Six hundred and fifty federal agencies and department (sic). That's why they have to take so much of our taxes. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

TAPPER: Should DONALD TRUMP stop saying it? Should he stop saying that vaccines cause autism? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: Well, you know, I've just explained it to him. He can read about it if he wants to. I think he's an intelligent man and will make the correct decision after getting the real facts. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

TAPPER: Dr. Carson, you just heard his (Donald Trump) medical take.

CARSON: He's an OK doctor. But, you know, the fact of the matter is, we have extremely well-documented proof that there's no autism associated with vaccinations. But it is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time. And a lot of pediatricians now recognize that, and, I think, are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done, and I think that's appropriate.


CARSON: You know, 14 percent decrease in the number of people applying for voluntary military service, and I think part of it is because of the way that we treat our veterans. You know, we wouldn't be a free country if it wasn't for them, and we have 22 veterans per day committing suicide. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

CARSON: So, I think what we should do is have an external support system for people once they volunteer and it should follow them throughout their career, should follow them for three years, five years afterwards, a year before they get out, should be working on integrating them back into society, so that they quit on Friday and they start their new job. They should have health empowerment accounts that are subsidized so they can go to any medical facility and be taken care of. They can go to a V.A. if they want to. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

But if we start taking care of our veterans the right way, we won't have to ever worry about a draft again.

Vision For America

TAPPER: Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, used the plane behind you to accomplish a great many things. Perhaps, most notably, to challenge Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall, and ultimately, to make peace with the USSR. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

How will the world look different once your Air Force One is parked in the hangar of your presidential library?

CARSON: Well, you know, I was a radical Democrat before I started listening to Ronald Reagan. And he didn't sound like what they said Republicans were. He sounded logical. And I hope that I sound logical also. Because when I look at what is going on with the United States of America, I see a lot of things that are not logical. I see us allowing people to divide us, when in fact our strength is in our unity. I see people exercising the most irresponsible fiscal habits that anyone could possibly do. And hiding it from the American people, so that the majority of people have no idea what our financial situation is. So, when someone comes along and says, free college, free phones, free this and that, and the other, they say, "wow, that's nice," having no idea that they're destabilizing our position. And I think also that Ronald Reagan was a master at understanding that a pinnacle nation has to be a nation that leads. If we learn to lead in the Middle East right now, a coalition will form behind us, but never they do it if we just sit there and talk about it. Real leadership is what I would hopefully bring to America. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

Wall Street Banks

BAKER: Do you think JPMorgan and the other big banks should be broken up? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

CARSON: Well, I think we should have policies that don't allow them to just enlarge themselves at the expense of smaller entities. And certainly some of the policies, some of the monetary and Fed policies that we're using makes it very easy for them, makes it very easy for the big corporations, quite frankly, at these very low interest rates to buy back their stock and to drive the price of that up artificially. Those are the kinds of things that led to the problem in the first place. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

And I think this all really gets back to this whole regulation issue which is creating a very abnormal situation. This country was -- declared its independence in 1776. In less than 100 years, it was the number-one economic power in the world. And the reason was because we had an atmosphere that encouraged entrepreneurial risk- taking and capital investment. Those are the fuels that drive it. And what we've done now is let the creep of regulation turn into a stampede of regulations, which is involved in every aspect of our lives. If we can get that out, it makes a big difference. And even for the average person, every single regulation costs money. And it's shifted to the individual.

CARSON: So -- and it hurts the poor and the middle class much more than it does the rich. They go into the store and they buy a bar of soap, it costs 10 cents more, they notice it. And the middle class, when they come to the cash register, have a whole cart full of things that cost 5, 10 or 15 cents more, they notice it. It is hurting the poor. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton won't tell you that that's the thing that's really hurting middle class in the core. They'll say it's the rich, take their money, but that won't help. You can take all of the rich's money and it won't make a dent in the problem that we're having. We have to come back to the fundamental principles that made America great. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

BAKER: But just to be clear, just -- just to be clear, then, you wouldn't -- you wouldn't favor breaking up the big banks? You think they're big enough -- they're OK as they are, as big as they are?

CARSON: I would have policies that wouldn't allow that to occur. I don't want to go in and tear anybody down. I mean, that doesn't help us. But what does help us is stop tinkering around the edges and fix the actual problems that exist that are creating the problem in the first place.


QUINTANILLA: Dr. Carson? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

CARSON: Probably in terms of the applying for the job of president, a weakness would be not really seeing myself in that position until hundreds of thousands of people began to tell me that I needed to do it. I do, however, believe in Reagan's 11th commandment, and will not be engaging in awful things about my compatriots here. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

And recognizing that it's so important, this election, because we're talking about America for the people versus America for the government.

Woman On Dollar Bill

TAPPER: Earlier this year, the Treasury Department announced that a woman will appear on the $10 bill. What woman would you like to see on the $10 bill? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

CARSON: I'd put my mother on there. You know, she was one of 24 children, got married at age 13, had only a third grade education, had to raise two sons by herself, refused to be a victim. Wouldn't let us be victims, and has been an inspiration to many people. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

Criticizing Cruz

MUIR: Dr. Carson, on the day of the Iowa caucuses, the Cruz campaign sent out messages and voicemails saying, quote, "Breaking news. Dr. Ben Carson will be planning to suspend his campaign following tonight's caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news." (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

But as we can all see, you are still standing here tonight. Late this week, your campaign sent this e-mail, quote, "This kind of deceitful behavior is why the American people don't trust politicians. If Senator Cruz does not act, then he clearly represents D.C. values." What kind of action do you think Senator Cruz should take?

CARSON: Well, you know, when I wasn't introduced No. 2, as was the plan, I thought maybe he thought I already had dropped out. But... But you know, today is the 105th anniversary, or -- 105th birthday of Ronald Reagan. His 11 Commandment was not to speak ill of another Republican. So, I'm not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Senator Cruz. (eighth GOP debate, Feb. 06, 2016)

But I will say -- I will say -- I will say that I was very disappointed that members of his team thought so little of me that they thought that after having hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers and college students who sacrificed their time and were dedicated to the cause -- one even died -- to think that I would just walk away ten minutes before the caucus and say, "Forget about you guys."CARSON: I mean, who would do something like that? Now, I don't think anyone on this stage would do something like that. And to assume that someone would, what does that tell you? So, unfortunately, it did happen. It gives us a very good example of certain types of Washington ethics. Washington ethics. Washington ethics basically says, if it's legal, you do what you need to do in order to win. That's not my ethics. My ethics is, you do what's right.