September 27th, 2015
12:19 PM ET

Dr. Ben Carson on Muslims having to reject Islam in order to be president: "You have to reject the tenets of Islam. Yes, you have to."

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson, joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

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

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

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

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

Ben Carson explains Muslim president concerns

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

2016 GOP Presidential hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson, on Speaker John Boehner’s resignation: “I think Speaker Boehner had a long and distinguished career. He's being pulled in a lot of different directions, tends to be a nice guy, and is a compromiser at a time when a lot of people on the right feel that too much compromise has already resulted in a situation that they're not very happy with. So I think he did an admirable job and he's concluded that it's time to step down. I know there was a time that he expressed an interest in having the Pope come and now that's occurred it seems like perhaps this is a great time to step down.”

Dr. Carson on defunding Planned Parenthood: “It think it's worth looking at all the alternatives that we have. You know throughout my medical career I constantly had people saying well this is the way it has to be done this is the way it's always been done this can't be done, I don't listen to that stuff. I think there is a way to get it done. …I don't know what the way is, but if I were in there, I would be talking with everybody I knew, familiarizing myself with every possible legal aspect, and there is, where there's a will there's a way.”

Dr. Carson addresses his recent comments on not advocating a Muslim president: “Let me tell you what I would advocate, I would advocate that people go back and look at the transcript of what I actually said. …I would have problems with somebody who embraced all the doctrines associated with Islam. If they are not willing to reject sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran. If they are not willing to reject that, and subject that to American values and the Constitution, then of course, I would. I would ask you, would you be willing to do that? Would you be willing to advocate for somebody who would not do that? Probably not. …Is it possible that maybe the media thinks it's a bigger deal than the American people do? Because American people, the majority of them, agree and they understand exactly what I am saying.”

Jake Tapper and Dr. Carson discuss his stance on the death penalty: “[CARSON]: I think the death penalty is something that should be decided in a civil manner with the people in the area. [TAPPER]: So state-by-state decision? [CARSON]: Absolutely.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

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

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thank you so much for doing this, appreciate it.

2016 GOP PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL, DR. BEN CARSON: Absolutely.

TAPPER: So you were in the chamber when the Pope addressed this joint meeting of Congress, he had a lot to say about a lot of topics, one of them was life. I know you agree with the Pope when it comes to protecting life at all stages starting at conception. I don't know your positon on the death penalty, which the Pope spoke about at length, do you agree with him?

CARSON: I think the death penalty is something that should be decided in a civil manner with the people in the area.

TAPPER: So state-by-state decision?

CARSON: Absolutely.

TAPPER: Speaker John Boehner shook the political world Friday when he resigned. A lot of conservative leaders felt that he and Republican leaders in Congress have sold them old. What do you think?

CARSON: I think Speaker Boehner had a long and distinguished career. He's being pulled in a lot of different directions, tends to be a nice guy, and is a compromiser at a time when a lot of people on the right feel that too much compromise has already resulted in a situation that they're not very happy with. So I think he did an admirable job and he's concluded that it's time to step down. I know there was a time that he expressed an interest in having the Pope come and now that's occurred it seems like perhaps this is a great time to step down.

TAPPER: One of the issues where a lot of conservatives are mad at Republican leaders has to do with the funding or defunding of Planned Parenthood. I know you oppose the funding of Planned Parenthood. I interviewed Congressman Paul Ryan about this issue and he said that it's unrealistic to demand that Planned Parenthood be defunded because the Constitution gives President Obama the power in an equal powers way and there's just no way Congressman Ryan said that this can be forced on the President's desk. Do you agree with that or do you think that it's worth shutting down the government over?

CARSON: It think it's worth looking at all the alternatives that we have. You know throughout my medical career I constantly had people saying well this is the way it has to be done this is the way it's always been done this can't be done, I don't listen to that stuff. I think there is a way to get it done.

TAPPER: You think there's a way to force it onto the President?

CARSON: Absolutely.

TAPPER: What is the way?

CARSON: I don't know what the way is, but if I were in there, I would be talking with everybody I knew, familiarizing myself with every possible legal aspect, and there is, where there's a will there's a way.

TAPPER: You said last week quote “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation, I absolutely would not agree with that.”

CARSON: Let me tell you what I would advocate, I would advocate that people go back and look at the transcript of what I actually said.

TAPPER:  I'm reading it word for word.

[BEGIN TAPE]

CHUCK TODD Should a President's faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters?

  1. BEN CARSON: Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it's inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem.

CHUCK TODD: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?

  1. BEN CARSON: No, I don't, I do not.

CHUCK TODD: So you–

  1. BEN CARSON:I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.

[END TAPE]

TAPPER: He had asked you about Islam. If you thought Islam was conducive to the Constitution. And you said, Muslims. That you would have a problem with Muslims, with a Muslim being president.

CARSON: I would have problems with somebody who embraced all the doctrines associated with Islam. If they are not willing to reject sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran. If they are not willing to reject that, and subject that to American values and the Constitution, then of course, I would. I would ask you, would you be willing to do that? Would you be willing to advocate for somebody who would not do that? Probably not.

TAPPER: I don't assume that because somebody is Muslim that they would put their religion ahead of the U.S. Constitution. And in fact, the U.S. Constitution says itself that no religious test…

CARSON: Except that I have already said before that anybody from any religion, from any background, if, I told you what the criteria were for that. I told Chuck Todd what the criteria. So he is asking this out of that context.

TAPPER: You don't think that in any way, you said anything that could have been said more clearly about Muslims?

CARSON: I made it very clear.

TAPPER: You seem to be singling out Muslims as individuals who automatically, as a knee-jerk, would put their religion ahead of the country. And I think that offended a lot of people including a lot of patriotic Muslims.

CARSON: I think the statement stands. Is it possible that maybe the media thinks it's a bigger deal than the American people do? Because American people, the majority of them, agree and they understand exactly what I am saying.

TAPPER: I've seen, I've heard from a lot of people who don't think Muslims can be patriotic who agree with you. But I don't know if I were running for president if I would want the support of people like that?

CARSON: Of course Muslims can be patriotic. I've worked with Muslims. I've trained Muslims. I've operated on Muslims. There are a lot of Muslims who are very patriotic. Good Americans and they gladly admit, at least privately, that they don't accept sharia or the doctrines and they understand that Islam is a system of living and it includes the way that you relate to the government. And you cannot, unless you specifically, deny that portion of Islam be a Muslim in good standing. Now if that is the case, if you are not willing to reject that, then how in the world can you possibly be the President of the United States.

TAPPER: You are saying there is something specific about being a Muslim. You have to reject Islam to be president.

CARSON: You have to reject the tenets of Islam. Yes, you have to.

TAPPER: And that's different from an orthodox Jew or a devout Christian?

CARSON: If there is a devout Christian who is running and they refuse to reject the ideals of our Constitution, or they want to establish a theocracy, I cannot advocate for them.

TAPPER: I guess the point is that you seem to be suggesting that Muslim Americans automatically want a theocracy and I just don't know any Muslim Americans, and I know plenty, who feel that way, even if they are observant Muslims.

CARSON: Okay, in terms of the tenets of Islam, are you familiar with them? The corpus juris from the authoritative group of the people who make the rules that goes back to the 10th century A.D.

TAPPER: I am familiar with extremists interpretations of plenty of religions.

CARSON: I am not talking about extremists interpretations, I'm talking about what is required.

TAPPER: And you're telling me that what is required for a Muslim...

CARSON: What is required is that is a system of living that governs every aspect of your life. And you have to make a specific declaration and decision to reject the portions of it.

TAPPER: What portions of it?

CARSON: The portions that tell you how you treat women. The portions of it that indicate the… who are the people who are not believers are subject to different rules. That they can be dominated.

TAPPER: I think one of the things is that you are a member of a church that does a lot of misinformation about, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, you're an African American. You know what it is like for people to make false assumptions about you. And you seem to be doing the same thing with Muslims.

CARSON: In which way am I making a false assumption about them?

TAPPER: You're assuming that Muslim Americans put their religion ahead of the country. I'm assuming that if you accept all the tenets of Islam that you would have a very difficult time abiding under the Constitution of the United States.

(man off-camera) This interview is over.

TAPPER: Thanks, Dr. Carson, I appreciate it.

##END INTERVIEW##

 

 

 


Topics: CNN • Jake Tapper • State of the Union
tmpl
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.