Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on Monday said that while he does not support the tactics of the militia that has taken over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, he believes that the federal government has too much control over the country’s land.
“Well, you know, the tendency for everybody is to, you know, come down on one side or the other side, government’s bad, these people are bad,” Carson said when asked about the takeover in Oregon. “I would think that we should try to look at things from both perspectives. Why, in fact, do these ranchers feel that way? Let’s hear their grievances. I don’t condone them taking over, you know, a federal building. You know, we have better ways of expressing our displeasure than that.”
“But the fact of the matter is, there are legitimate grievances,” Carson continued. “You know, there’s absolutely no reason that the federal government should lay claim to so much land. I believe it would be a very wise thing to begin to gradually get that land back in the hands of the states, and then let the states deal with it in an appropriate way.”
The Republican presidential candidate also added that “we do have a federal government for a reason.”
“We need to respect them. We need to use their regular channels for dealing with the problems that are occurring,” Carson said.
Carson in 2014 expressed support for Cliven Bundy, describing the Nevada ranchers and his supporters that participated in a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management as “pretty upstanding people.” Two of Bundy’s sons are now leading the militia at the Oregon wildlife refuge.
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