Political Profile: Ben Carson
Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon from Michigan who is running for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election. He is best known in the medical field for separating conjoined twins and developing a technique that controls brain seizures. These two achievements made him a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient in 2008. Carson is defined as a “libertarian conservative” by OnTheIssues.org.
Full Name: Benjamin Solomon Carson
Born: September 18, 1951
Education: Yale University (BA), University of Michigan Medical School (MD)
Political Experience: None
Work Experience: Neurosurgeon, author
Family: Lacena Carson (wife), Murray, Benjamin Jr., Rhoeyce (sons)
Oddity: Carson is a vegetarian, citing the personal health benefits as well as the environmental impact.
On the Issues:
Economy: Wants to reform tax code and abolish the estate tax. Advocates for a flat tax rather than a personal income tax, as well as a luxury tax. Wants to reinstate Glass-Steagall. Politifact estimates his plan would create a $1 trillion annual deficit.
Healthcare: “[Obamacare is] the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery…it is slavery in a way.” Believes healthcare should be free market-based, rather than government regulated.
Immigration: Believes illegal immigrants should be able to register as guests and have a pathway available to permanent citizenship. Also supports efforts to seal the border and decrease incentives to immigrate
Foreign Policy: Believes Russia is an imminent threat. Wants to make ISIS “look like losers” and believes we can attain an energy field in Iraq with minimal conflict.
Education: Supports “school choice” programs, as he believes private education is superior to public. Wants to be able to deny federal funding to institutions if they are found to be politically biased.
Environment: Rejects scientific evidence of human caused climate change.
Abortion: Adamantly pro-life. Supports movement to overturn Roe v. Wade. “The number one cause of death for black people is abortion.”
Gay Marriage: Opposes. Supports civil unions for gay couples.
Drugs: Believes marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to “hedonistic activity,” but supports legalization of medical marijuana.
Supporter: “I don’t think politicians are really in tune with the rest of America and what we need. We need someone to shake things up.” – Karen Mihalic, 61. Courtesy of ABC News
Opponent: “He could make some noise, particularly in Iowa. But not seriously enough to believe he has any real shot of winning the nomination.” – Harry Enten, senior political analyst/writer at FiveThirtyEight