A Fox News host asked Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson on Wednesday morning what some might have wondered for a while now — did he need to get better at saying what he means?
During his campaign so far, Carson has made (and then walked back or clarified) comments on using drone strikes to secure the border, and whether he would be OK with a Muslim president.
This week, Carson addressed the recent massacre of nine people at an Oregon community college. He said that he wouldn’t have just stood there and “let him shoot me.” He also said that the thought of taking away gun rights was more “devastating” than any body with bullet-holes that he had seen.
During the Wednesday interview on Fox, host Martha MacCallum pressed Carson on the comments after he blamed the media for twisting his words.
“It sounds — I understand what you are trying to say underneath — but the problem is the way it sometimes comes across,” MacCallum said. “It is something you run into time and time again with the comment on Muslims being President and, you know, some other things. So how do you deal with that part of the equation? Because you have to keep cleaning up these comments?”
“I don’t deal with it to be honest with you,” Carson said, adding that “we’re living” in a divisive culture.
But MacCallum continued to press him.
“But does it bother you that you spend time — you’re doing it again here right now — sort of saying here is what I meant to say,” MacCallum said. “As a candidate, do you need to get better at saying what you mean?”
“I don’t think so, actually,” Carson replied. “I think people know exactly what I am saying, and they know exactly what the media is trying to do. And I think they are smarter than that and they’re not going to be manipulated.”
“So, I’m not gonna change and become a — you know — a vanilla (sic) envelope that they can accept,” Carson continued. “They’re never going to accept me because I don’t believe in political correctness. I can twist myself in pretzels trying to fit into their box or be who I am. And we need people to stand up and talk what’s logical right now.”
Watch some of the exchange:
This post has been updated.