Dr. Ben Carson said his campaign is doing great, but his campaign stop Thursday night at the ritzy Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, New Hampshire probably should have come with a warning label that read “may cause drowsiness.”
Carson spoke to a full house of over 400 people Thursday, wending his way through from America’s fiscal crisis to the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.
At times he lounged against the podium or paced casually to the side, his soft-spoken voice missing the microphone and often failing to carry through the room as he spoke; he became most passionate when talking about the need to fight terrorism and when cataloging the ills and injuries suffered by America because of the “secular progressive” agenda and fiscal irresponsibility.
“If we elect another progressive government and they get three more Supreme Court picks, America as we know it is gone,” Carson told the crowd woefully, going on to paint the picture of a feckless, immoral administration without the will to succeed or lead.
“Nobody wants to get behind somebody who’s leading from behind,” Carson said.
Many conservatives are afraid to speak out, for fear of political correctness, he went on, noting that silencing any dissent from those who disagree is “exactly what the secular progressive movement wants.”
“We also must understand that we are in grave danger from radical jihadists,” Carson said, adding that while he understands Americans’ wary and weary of war following the 2003 Iraq War, ISIS must be confronted all-out, have its’ land and oil resources stripped from it and be defeated through all “covert and overt” means.
Beware The Fiscal Gap
On the financial side, Carson said even more troubling than national debt is the fiscal gap, or the difference between unfunded liabilities and money owed versus money taken in, currently around 211 trillion according to Carson and various experts.
“If we couldn’t illegitimately print money we’d be just like Greece right now except we’d be much worse,” he said, adding that the Great Depression will be nothing compared to the economic collapse that could come to America if it doesn’t change course fiscally.
“We must get our financial house in order. It is possible to do,” he said.
Carson also took a hit at the media which he called ‘so dishonest’ and mused that maybe self-preservation would end up causing them to be honest because “if the nation goes off the cliff they’re going off with it.”
Going after Hillary Clinton on the e-mail scandal Carson said it shows a “total lack of judgment.”
From his easygoing attitude and demeanor to his hopscotch to different topics, Carson at times came across almost more as a kindly mentor than a man running for president.
“The person who has the most to do with success in your life is you,” Carson told the audience as he recounted growing up in poverty and his mother’s guidance in transforming him from a “horrendous student” to a young man with a bright future.
Dismissing past accusations that his campaign is falling apart as “wishful thinking” from the left wing, Carson said his campaign team is functioning “extraordinarily well,” buoyed by more than 300,000 donations from supporters.
Nonetheless it was hard not to feel that the Carson campaign was occasionally checking its pulse during the packed event as Carson’s soporific voice seemed better suited to a doctor’s bedside manner than a man seeking the Oval Office.
Carson has an inspiring story of rising from poverty to become a world-renowned surgeon and he is a visibly faith-filled and principled man, but his messaged seemed more a patchwork of various conservative calling cards than a coherent platform.
Carson, who first caught the nation’s ear with his National Prayer Breakfast comments calling out President Obama, has clearly captured the hearts and votes of a number of people across the nation, but it was hard to see much steam or energy in his remarks in Windham.
That said, Carson was obviously adored by the audience, with a long line of people waiting to speak to him after and take photos. There was also the deeply touching introduction of a woman who lost her daughter years ago and was consoled by the prayers and encouragement of Carson at the time.
In the personal connection and affable personality of Carson, it was apparent that a range of people truly appreciate the listening manner and personality of Carson as well as resound with his principles. From older to younger, including some 17-year-old voters who will turn 18 in time to vote in the primary. Windham State Representative David Bates had these young voters stand up prior to Carson’s remarks. The turnout showed that he is a well-liked man in New Hampshire.
Carson Has Got To Step It Up If He Wants To Stay Alive
The thing is, there are also a lot of other candidates who are well-liked have dedicated campaign teams with well laid-out platforms and polished political chops.
An August 11 Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce University poll put Carson near the bottom of the pack, polling just four percent among voters in the New Hampshire primary.
He is also not without controversy, particularly this week as Carson defended past fetal tissue research he himself did in the 1990s. In answer to a question from Fox News after his remarks Thursday, Carson said that the research he did was a “‘huge difference” from how baby organs were shown being dissected by Planned Parenthood in recent videos.
“To cultivate these babies and manipulate them in order to get their tissues and then to sell them is a very different thing than taking a tissue specimen and sending it to a laboratory where they compare it with a large index of cell types and blocks that they’ve accumulated over decades,” Carson said, adding that “a lot of those fetuses that were coming in were from ectopic and spontaneous abortions. They don’t throw them away, they prepare them and make slides of them and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But the Planned Parenthood people are trying to make that equivalent to what they’re doing to justify what they’re doing, and you have to be pretty stupid to believe that. ”
Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be funded by the “general public” Carson said in response to a question from The Federalist.
“If they want to be funded, they need to go out and find private funding,” he said.
Commenting on the #BlackLivesMatter protests that led to Democratic presidential candidate leaving the stage last weekend in Seattle, Carson said his focus is on addressing the problem of black-on-black crime.
“I would like for them (protestors) to start paying attention to the politics going on,” Carson said. “The values and principles that governed my community through slavery, through Jim Crow, through segregation, it was faith and family. And if you abandon those things and you just have a callus attitude running throughout the community, this is what you get. We also need to focus on the real solutions. When it comes to violence with police, recognize that the police go into this neighborhood fearful and intimidated and that citizens of those neighborhoods are also intimidated. Put two fearful and intimidated people together and you’re going to have a problem. So what you need to do is find a way to relax that tension and introduce those people into those neighborhoods fully.”
As his campaign continues on, Carson has tough slog of it in a party dominated by Donald Trump, well-funded candidates like Jeb Bush and other contenders like Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and John Kasich. He will likely have to inject some fresh energy and ideas into the campaign if he doesn’t plan to go back to surgery just yet.