Retired surgeon Ben Carson, a current GOP presidential candidate, is coming to town next week to hawk copies of his book, A More Perfect Union, at a Tampa Barnes & Noble (more info here courtesy of Tampa Tribune reporter — and CL Best of the Bay winner — Chris O'Donnell) on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Despite a penchant for spouting head-scratchingly bizarre statements, many of which demonstrate either next-level paranoia or a profound misunderstanding of how the federal government works, he's somehow seeing a surge in the polls.
A national poll out earlier Tuesday, a week ahead of Carson's Tampa visit, places him at the top of the pack, including Donald Trump (the first time Trump hasn't ben on top in recent memory).
In honor of his recent successes — and his upcoming visit — here are ten of the most insane things he has said thus far in his campaign:
1. He thinks abortion is as bad as slavery.
“During slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave.”
2. He wants to repeal Obamacre (of course), do away with Medicare and Medicaid and divvy up the money that funded the two programs into health savings accounts for individuals, who could also opt to buy catastrophic insurance policies.
"We give people the ability to shift money within their health savings account within their family. If you're $500 short, your wife can give it to you out of hers."
3. He thinks political correctness leads to fascism.
"If you go back and look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech."
4. There may not even be a 2016 election, he says, because President Obama may have caused the nation to descend into chaos by that time.
5. Obamacare, he once said, is an atrocity on par with slavery.
“Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
6. In the wake of a mass shooting in Oregon, he said greater access to guns could have prevented the Holocaust.
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
7. He wants to monitor college campuses for liberally biased political speech and deny federal funding to universities that engage in it (those that do so in a conservative manner would not be affected).
“I actually have something I would use the Department of Education to do. It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.”
8. He doesn't think a Muslim should ever be allowed to be president.
"I would have problems with somebody who embraced all the doctrines associated with Islam. If they are not willing to reject sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran — if they are not willing to reject that, and subject that to American values and the Constitution, then of course, I would."
9. Judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality, he has said, should be subject to removal or punishment by Congress.
"When judges do not carry out their duties in an appropriate way, our Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove them. Most people don’t know that because they don’t know the Constitution."
10. Being gay is a choice, he has said, because look at all those people who turn gay in prison.
"Because a lot of people who go into prison 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."