The famously laid back Dr. Ben Carson may have gotten the least amount of talk time in during Fox Business Network’s Republican debate Thursday night, but the retired neurosurgeon made up for it with a string of memorably muddled and often winding answers that highlighted his spacey demeanor.
Here are just a few of Carson’s best moments:
He joked about sleeping through the debate
“Well, I am very happy to get a question this early on. I was going to ask you to wake me up when the time came,” Carson said in response to a question about fighting the Islamic State early on in the contest.
He thought a rival saying ‘everybody’ entitled him to a response
After former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that “everybody on this stage is better than Hillary Clinton,” Carson thought that under the debate rules, he should get the chance to defend himself.
“Neil, I was mentioned too,” Carson said.
“You were?” host Neil Cavuto said with a laugh.
“Yeah, they said ‘everybody,’” the Republican said, cracking up.
He said enemies want to attack “our electrical grid”
Describing an ominous string of threats that internet users noticed bore a striking resemblance to the plot of the alien invasion movie “Independence Day,” Carson said the state of modern warfare has changed in ways the President “doesn’t realize.”
“The fact of the matter is, [Obama] doesn’t realize that we now live in the 21st century, and that war is very different than it used to be before,” Carson said. “Not armies, massively marching on each other and air forces, but now we have dirty bombs and we have cyber attacks and we have people who will be attacking our electrical grid.”
The doomsaying neurosurgeon went on: “We have enemies who are obtaining nuclear weapons that they can explode in our exoatmosphere and destroy our electric grid. Just think about a scenario like that. They explode the bomb, we have an electromagnetic pulse. They hit us with a cyberattack simultaneously and dirty bombs. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue at that point?”
He reads the online comments
The Republican breaks some users’ cardinal rule of reading stories on the internet: don’t read the comments.
In response to a particularly leading question from Fox Business Network moderator Maria Bartiromo, who asked about “the notion that Hillary Clinton is an enabler of sexual misconduct,” Carson called up lessons learned on the internet.
“You know, you go to the internet, you start reading article, you go through the comment section, each other all manner of names,” he said. “Where did that spirit come from in America? It did not come from our Judeo-Christian roots, I can tell you that.”
He wasn’t paying attention to a direct question
After a bizarre callout to ex-candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) proposed plans to send ground troops to Syria, Carson seemed to lose track of the line of questioning.
Bartiromo began: “[Graham] says the airstrikes, now in their 16th month, have been ineffective. Dr. Carson –”
“Wait a minute, who in their 16th month?” Carson asked.
“The airstrikes, now in their 16th month,” Bartiromo repeated.
NowThis collected their own highlights of Carson’s performance:
And now, Deep Thoughts by Ben Carson https://t.co/uHDRYqmp9S
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 15, 2016