Republican presidential contender Dr. Ben Carson is known for a soft-spoken demeanor, but his statement on Islam in the U.S. was explosive:
A Muslim should not be elected president.
In an interview to air Sunday on “Meet The Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Carson if a candidate’s religious faith should be considered when Americans elect a president.
“I guess it depends on what that faith is,” Carson responded. “If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem.”
Todd followed by asking point blank, “Do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?”
“No, I don’t, I do not,” Carson said. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
Carson did say he would consider electing a Muslim to Congress but “it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says, you know.”
He added that he does believe President Obama is a Christian saying he has “no reason to doubt what he says.”
Carson’s critics will no doubt note that similar arguments were made against the Catholic faith of President John F. Kennedy when he ran for president. They might remember, though, that Catholics — acting in the name of Catholicism –weren’t going around beheading people, staging suicide bombing buildings and flying commercial airplanes into buildings.
Watch the exchange below.