August 23rd, 2015
11:02 AM ET

Dr. Ben Carson on serving as Donald Trump's VP: “All things are possible, but it is much too early to begin such conversations.”

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Johns Hopkins University director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery & 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson, joined senior White House correspondent & guest anchor, Jim Acosta.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, the full video, text highlights, and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

VIDEO:

Dr. Ben Carson on State of the Union: Full Interview

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

2016 GOP presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson on his recent remarks about drones: “It was quite clear what I was talking about. I said that drones are excellent for surveillance.  …along that border, we have miles and miles of fences.  – I went there last week and didn't see any Border Patrol people.  And those fences are so easy to scale.  It is almost like not having a fence there.  So, drones can help with the surveillance.  In no way did I suggest that drones be used to kill people.  And I said that to the media at the time – you guys are - some of you are going to go out and say Carson wants to use drones to kill people on the borders. ...I am not talking about killing people, no people with drones.”

Carson on the controversial use of the term “anchor baby”: “I think it is silly political correctness.  Everybody knows what we are talking about.  We need to talk about the actual issue, and stop getting pulled off into the weeds, and saying, you can use this term, you can't use that term.  It is so silly.”

Carson explaining the difference between his views on abortion from 1992 and his current stance: “I make no bones about the fact that I used to be a Democrat.  I used to be a pretty left-wing Democrat, in fact.  Over the course of time – my views have changed very dramatically.  In 1992, I personally was against abortion, but I was not for causing anybody else to do anything.  I was pro-choice in that region.  I have changed because I have learned a lot of things.  And I began to think about, if abolitionists a long time ago had said, I don't believe in slavery, but anybody else can do it if they want to, where would we be today?  So, that changed my opinion of a lot of things.”

Carson on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula: “I think it highlights the necessity of us taking a very strong stance for our allies.  South Korea is our ally.  There should be no doubt about that in anybody's mind, including North Korea, that we will stand with our allies, no matter what is going on.”

Carson on whether he can “catch” Donald Trump in the polls: “I'm not particularly trying to catch anybody.  What I am doing is steadily getting the message out, and connecting with the American people.  And they are responding.  You know, last week, we had over 2,000 people in the town center of Durango, 12,000 people in Phoenix.  People are excited, and a lot of young people as well.  And this is great.  This is what it's - this is what it is all about.  And this is a marathon.  It's not a sprint.  Things will happen over the course of the next year.  And I think that people will be able to make a very excellent decision.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Let's turn now to the Republican race for the White House, where there's another potential ticket being buzzed about.  A Trump ally told Politico this weekend the front-runner is eying fellow outsider candidates Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina as running mates.

With us now to talk about this is the Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.

Dr. Carson, good morning.  Thanks for joining us.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Good morning.

ACOSTA:  Does the prospect of a Biden/Warren ticket worry you very much?

CARSON:  No, it doesn't.  You know, I am very happy with whatever they come up with, because I think this election will be a very excellent opportunity for the American people to make a clear choice.  I don't think it will to be muddied.

ACOSTA:  And, Dr. Carson, would you be willing to serve as Donald Trump's vice president?  This is something that was sort of bandied about in the media this week.  It is summer of the outsider. In just about all the polls, the top two Republicans are yourself and Donald Trump.  Would you serve as his running mate?  Would you want him to serve as your running mate?

CARSON:  All things are possible, but it is much too early to begin such conversations.

ACOSTA:  All things are possible.  OK. All right.  Well, Dr. Carson, let me ask you this.

On the subject of immigration, a big dispute erupted this week over birthright citizenship.  On August 19, just a few days ago - let's put this up on screen - you said - quote - "If somebody comes here for the purpose of having a baby, so that they have an anchor baby, we should keep that family together and send them back where they come from." Let me ask you, Dr. Carson, some people consider the term anchor baby a racial slur.  What do you think?

CARSON:  I think it is silly political correctness.  Everybody knows what we are talking about.  We need to talk about the actual issue, and stop getting pulled off into the weeds, and saying, you can use this term, you can't use that term.  It is so silly.

ACOSTA:  And let me ask you about something else you said earlier this week.  You said that the United States should consider using drone strikes to secure the border with Mexico.  What did you mean by that?  Obviously, drones are used now for surveillance along the border.  Are you talking about taking drone strikes at the U.S./Mexico border?

CARSON:  It was quite clear what I was talking about.

I said that drones are excellent for surveillance.  You know, along that border, we have miles and miles of fences.  And, you know, I went there last week and didn't see any Border Patrol people.  And those fences are so easy to scale.  It is almost like not having a fence there.  So, drones can help with the surveillance.  In no way did I suggest that drones be used to kill people.  And I said that to the media at the time.  I said, you guys are - some of you are going to go out and say Carson wants to use drones to kill people on the borders.

How ridiculous.  At some point, I hope we have some responsible media which actually focuses on the problem.  We have a huge security risk there.  And talking to some of the sheriffs down there on the border, Sheriff Babeu, Sheriff Dannels, and some of the other law enforcement agencies, listen to the frustration.  You should have them on your show, and let them talk about what is actually going on down there. And it seems like we have not only the cartels to deal with, the drug smugglers, the people smugglers, but we have the federal government, which is not being helpful.  Over the last couple of years, they have released 67,000 of those people.

ACOSTA:  But, Dr. Carson...

CARSON:  Sixty-seven thousand.

ACOSTA: ... there were some reports that said that you were at the very least considering drone strikes on cartels down there at the border. You are saying under no circumstances would you use drones for military purposes along the U.S./Mexico border?  No drone strikes whatsoever?

CARSON:  No, no, that's - that's a - that is a total lie.  What I said is, it's possible that a drone could be used to destroy the caves that are utilized to hide people.  Those need to be gotten rid of.

ACOSTA:  Hide immigrants or hide - who - who would be hidden in these caves?

CARSON:  No, the scouts.

ACOSTA:  Where are these caves?  What caves are you talking about?

CARSON:  The scouts and the people who are facilitating - the scouts and the people who are facilitating all illegal activities.  Those caves are very evident.  And I hope you have some of the sheriffs in.  They can show you the pictures.  They can show you what is going on there.  We are not getting support from the federal government to deal with these people.  They're being outgunned.  You know, 56 percent of that border is not under our control.

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA:  OK, but I just want to make sure we button this down. So, you're are saying that, in some instances, you would advocate using drone strikes to take out cartels that are bringing migrants across the border?  Is that what you're talking about?  Wouldn't there be some instances where perhaps...

CARSON:  Listen, read my lips.

ACOSTA: ... innocent people might get killed? Yes, please, let's agree - let's do it.

(CROSSTALK)

CARSON:  Read my lips.  Listen very carefully to what I am saying.  I said there are caves.  There are caves that they utilize.  Those caves can be eliminated.  There are a number of possibilities.  That could be one of them.  I am not talking about killing people, no people with drones.

ACOSTA:  You would just take out the caves themselves.  You would make sure that the caves are empty and then drone them?  And that's what you're saying?

CARSON:  I think that is - I made that very clear.  And I also made it very clear that we have excellent military people and military strategists.  We need to get them involved.  We have National Guard.  Why are they called the National Guard?  Because they guard the nation.  Let's put them on the border.  That is where they need to be.

ACOSTA:  And, Dr. Carson, one of the issues that you are very passionate about is the issue of abortion and your pro-life views.

I want to ask you about something that occurred back in Maryland in 1992.  You became involved in a political campaign.  You were on the pro-life side of a ballot measure, but then joined the pro-choice or anti-abortion - excuse me - pro-abortion forces at a press conference to denounce that very same ad.  Let's take a look at this ad, and I want to get your explanation about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  First, he asked voters to vote against the abortion referendum.  Now renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson says he regrets that.

CARSON:  My message is not to vote for or against Question 6, but to educate yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA:  Obviously, some of your adversaries out there are bringing this to light, in part because they want to get to the bottom of where you stand on this, or where you stood on this back in 1992. Can you clarify what was going on there during that abortion question that was on the ballot in Maryland in 1992?

CARSON:  I make no bones about the fact that I used to be a Democrat.  I used to be a pretty left-wing Democrat, in fact.  Over the course of time, you know, my views have changed very dramatically.  In 1992, I personally was against abortion, but I was not for causing anybody else to do anything.  I was pro-choice in that region.

I have changed because I have learned a lot of things.  And I began to think about, if abolitionists a long time ago had said, I don't believe in slavery, but anybody else can do it if they want to, where would we be today?  So, that changed my opinion of a lot of things.

ACOSTA:  And I want to switch to foreign policy.  There's been a lot of tensions obviously in the Korean Peninsula.  The North Korea leader, Kim Jong UN, ordered his front-line military units to go on a semi-war state on Friday.  What would you do about North Korea?  What is your sense of the situation right now?

CARSON:  Well, I think it highlights the necessity of us taking a very strong stance for our allies.  South Korea is our ally.  There should be no doubt about that in anybody's mind, including North Korea, that we will stand with our allies, no matter what is going on.

ACOSTA:  And Donald Trump recently said on NBC that he gets his foreign policy advice from watching television.  Where do you get your foreign policy advice?  Who are your advisers?

CARSON:  I have a number of advisers.  I don't have permission to release all of their names, but General Bob Dees, one of them that I do have permission to release his name.

ACOSTA:  OK.

CARSON:  I have a lot of very excellent advisers, as will become increasingly apparent as people begin to question me about foreign policy.

ACOSTA:  And can you catch Donald Trump?  He seems to be running away - running away with this.

CARSON:  I'm not particularly trying to catch anybody.  What I am doing is steadily getting the message out, and connecting with the American people.  And they are responding.  You know, last week, we had over 2,000 people in the town center of Durango, 12,000 people in Phoenix.  People are excited, and a lot of young people as well.  And this is great.  This is what it's - this is what it is all about.  And this is a marathon.  It's not a sprint.  Things will happen over the course of the next year.  And I think that people will be able to make a very excellent decision.

ACOSTA:  OK.  It certainly is a marathon.

Dr. Ben Carson, thank you very much for joining us.  We appreciate it.  Thank you, sir.

CARSON:  A pleasure.

ACOSTA:  All right.

 

###END INTERVIEW###

 


Topics: CNN • Jim Acosta • State of the Union
tmpl
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.