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Megyn Kelly puts it to Ben Carson straight: How could you associate with Al Sharpton?

Dr. Ben Carson sat down with Megyn Kelly Wednesday to explain controversial comments he made linking himself to Al Sharpton.

In an op-ed piece published by National Review on Wednesday, the 2016 presidential hopeful said that he and Sharpton “have the same goal: to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten,” though some would say Sharpton’s goals have more to do with lining his pockets than helping America.

Carson explained the two men “have a fundamental difference of opinion regarding the best way to achieve such an end.”

On Wednesday’s “Kelly File,” the host asked him why he would appear at a NAN meeting to begin with.

“One of the big problems in our country right now is that we get off in our respective corners and we throw hand grenades at each other,” Carson told Kelley. “We need to be solving problems.”

Still, Kelly said, Carson’s partnership with Sharpton was surprising.

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“This is a man who has stoked the racial fires in recent months. Who has gone out there making preconceived arguments and judgements about cases that he knows very little of,” she said. “Why would you potentially tarnish your own brand by partnering up with somebody like that?”

Carson agreed but said the opportunity to reach people made it worth it.

“You won’t get me to defend him,” he said. “But I will tell you that the audience, a little cool when I first started, but by the time I finished (I got a) standing ovation and were very warm.”

“We don’t want to categorize people based on an individual,” Carson added. “We want to give them all an opportunity to listen and evaluate, because it’s the only way we are going to heal the deep divisions that exist in our country.”

Related:

Ben Carson to speak at one of Sharpton’s ‘racist rallies’; shocked tweeters split in hot debate.

Carmine Sabia

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