Dr. Ben Carson: ‘We, The American People, Are Not Each Other’s Enemies’

Dr. Ben Carson sat down with Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough on Wednesday, May 21 to promote his new book “One Nation” and had some harsh words regarding America's future. 

Carson argued that “I want people to understand that we, the American people, are not each other’s enemies. The real enemies are those people who are trying to divide us into every little possible group.” [See video below.] 

Carson insisted that he wrote his latest book to let the American people know who our real enemies are. He argued that they will find “Any crack they drive a wedge into to create, you know, gender wars, race wars, income wars, age wars, any kind of war there is.  And you know, that's completely not who we are. That's why we're called the United States of America.” 

The famed neurosurgeon continued to defend America’s principles:

One of the reasons that we were able to rise to the pinnacle so quickly is because we learned how to use our resources together and we had a common vision and we know who we were. We don't even know who we are anymore. 

Scarborough then asked his guest about some of his past statements: “Are you learning as you go you say some things that sort of blow up and you regret them later?” Carson shot back: 

We need to just get away from all of that silliness and talk about what someone is actually talking about. Not grab some word or some phrase and say you people need to be inflamed about this because did you hear what he said? It's because they really don't want to talk about the actual substance. 

When asked by the Morning Joe co-host what his top issues would be if he ran for president in 2016, Carson replied: 

Right now I think we have to turn the ship around before it goes off the Niagara Falls. And the thing that is most likely to destroy us right now is our national debt. You know, $17.5 trillion on the way to 18. If you wanted to pay that back at a rate of $10 million a day, it would take you 4,700 years. That's just ridiculous. And the reason we can do that is because our dollar is the reserve currency of the world. If it weren't, we could not print money and it may not be soon.

See relevant transcript below. 


MSNBC

Morning Joe 

May 21, 2014 

8:36 a.m. Eastern 

BEN CARSON: We don't want to go down the same pathway as many other pinnacle nations who have preceded us. I think particularly about Rome. Very powerful. Nobody could even challenge them militarily. But what happened to them? They destroyed themselves from within. Moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility, they destroyed themselves and if you don't think that can happen to America, you get out your books and you start reading. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Last year, Dr. Ben Carson put himself on the political map by giving that critical speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. He’s out with a new book “One Nation: What we can do to save America’s future.” Dr. Carson joins us now. I’ve got to say, you got a great co-writer. Candy Carson. 

CARSON: Right. 

SCARBOROUGH: So you're working with your wife. 

CARSON: Yeah. The first four books I did with professional co-writers. The last one I did with my wife, and she reminds me that it's the first one that hit number one on the "New York Times" bestseller list. So I said I'll do all the rest of them with her. 

SCARBOROUGH: So you know, as you get older, things a long time ago seemed like they were a lot closer. For some reason I thought you gave like that National Prayer Breakfast speech in like 1990 or something because so much has happened to you in the past year. It’s been a crazy ride hasn't it?

CARSON: Well it’s been very different then what I expected when I retired. I thought I was going to play golf and learn how to play the organ and learn some new languages, bought all these Rosetta Stone’s. It just hasn't quite turned out that way. 

SCARBOROUGH: A lot of people talking to you about you running for president. You can’t go anywhere. You were telling me before you can't even get in elevators where people come up and basically say "Run, Ben, run." Are you considering that?

CARSON: Well, it certainly wasn't in my plan. And I'm hopeful that someone who really wants to be president will come along and really catch fire and then it won't be an issue. 

SCARBOROUGH: Then can you play golf and you can learn how to play the organ and you won't be running around campaigning. So what, when we read "One Nation," what are we going to read? What are we going to learn? 

CARSON: Well, the reason it’s called “One Nation” is because I want people to understand that we, the American people, are not each other’s enemies. The real enemies are those people who are trying to divide us into every little possible group. Any crack they drive a wedge into to create, you know, gender wars, race wars, income wars, age wars, any kind of war there is. And you know, that's completely not who we are. That's why we're called the United States of America. One of the reasons that we were able to rise to the pinnacle so quickly is because we learned how to use our resources together and we had a common vision and we know who we were. We don't even know who we are anymore. 

SCARBOROUGH: You know, a lot of people, though, your critics would say though that you've said some things that are divisive about gays, comparing the country to Nazi Germany. I mean, you don't really think this country is like Nazi Germany do you? 

CARSON: Well, first of all recognize, and I talk about this extensively in the book how people will take one word or one phrase and then try to characterize -- 

SCARBOROUGH: You know, they don't do that if you're on the golf course. But if you're thinking about running for president. So are you learning as you go you say some things that sort of blow up and you regret them later? 

CARSON: Well, I'm learning how people try to use these things to incite, you know, hatred and things like that. I'm understanding that one of the reasons I wrote the book is so that other people can understand that, too. Because we need to just get away from all of that silliness and talk about what someone is actually talking about.. Not grab some word or some phrase and say you people need to be inflamed about this because did you hear what he said? It's because they really don't want to talk about the actual substance. 

SCARBOROUGH: So what is, if you were running for president, what would your top issue be? 

CARSON: Well, right now I think we have to turn the ship around before it goes off the Niagara Falls. And the thing that is most likely to destroy us right now is our national debt. You know, $17.5 trillion on the way to 18. If you wanted to pay that back at a rate of $10 million a day, it would take you 4,700 years. That's just ridiculous. And the reason we can do that is because our dollar is the reserve currency of the world. If it weren't, we could not print money and it may not be soon.

SCARBOROUGH: Do you think Republicans have learned their lessons? We had big government Republicanism during the Bush years. Do you think we finally learned our lessons that big government Republicanism is not better than big government liberalism? 

CARSON: Well, I hope Republicans, Democrats and everyone has learned that lesson because it threatens the future of our children and our grandchildren. And you know, I grew up in Detroit which used to be the most prosperous city in America and look where is it now. They did the same thing that we’re doing as a nation. If we just open our eyes and look and see what’s going on. Stop with the ideology and start actually dealing with facts, evidence. 

SCARBOROUGH: You've had a crazy year and it looks like it's only going to get crazier. You’ve got a bus tour right? You're going to go on a national bus tour that's starting May 31st. Tell us about it. 

CARSON: Well, we're going to start in Florida and cover the south, go as far as Texas, Oklahoma, multiple cities a day. It will be kind of fun. I've never done anything like that. I've seen it on television so it should be kind of cool. 

SCARBOROUGH: Alright so we will know over the coming years and we'll call your wife to find out if your handicap gets lower in golf, you're not running for president. 

CARSON: Well, being the president doesn't exclude playing golf. 

SCARBOROUGH: Well, we found that out. There have been quite a few presidents that love golfing. So, maybe that's how you get your handicap lower, get elected and then start golfing more.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.