Asked by GOP debate moderator Hugh Hewitt whether he would be willing to order airstrikes that would kill thousands of innocent children, Ben Carson compared making such a call to the experience of operating on a child, as he did as an acclaimed pediatric neurosurgeon.
“You should see the eyes of some of those children when I say to them, ‘We are going to have to open your head up and take out this tumor.’ They’re not happy about it and they don’t like me very much at that point. But later on, they love me,” Carson said. “Later on, they really realize what’s going on. And by the same token, you have to be able to look at the big picture, and understand that it’s actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job, rather death by a thousand pricks.”
Hewitt pressed him further, asking him whether he would be as “ruthless” as Winston Churchill was in his campaign against the Nazis.
“Ruthless is not necessarily the word I would use,” Carson said. “But tough, resolute, understanding what the problems are, and understanding that the job of the president of the United States is to protect the people of this country.”