Ben Carson Announces 2016 Campaign

In addition to failed CEO Carly Fiorina yesterday, neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced that he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in what will be his first campaign for elected office. Over the past few years, Dr. Carson has repeatedly made a number of controversial and often factually incorrect statements - a trend that may well continue in the months to come.

Dr. Carson has perhaps been most outspoken on Obamacare, which he has been stridently opposed to. This opposition, the Washington Post reported, led him to call the expansion of health coverage to millions of Americans "the worst thing since slavery":

"You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. "And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control."

As Mother Jones reported, Dr. Carson believes that sexual orientation is a choice:

Ben Carson, the prospective 2016 presidential hopeful beloved by Tea Partiers, told CNN host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday that he believes homosexuality is "absolutely" a choice—because "a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight, and when they come out, they're gay." 

The former neurosurgeon went on, "So did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question."

Per the Huffington Post, Dr. Carson has stated that the White House is doctoring the unemployment rate:

"Many of these people buy -- hook, line and sinker -- the idea that our economy is getting much better and that the unemployment rate is down to 5.5 percent," the famed neurosurgeon told supporters at Monday's campaign announcement in Detroit.

"You know what? If the unemployment rate was down to 5.5 percent, our economy would be humming," he added. "But obviously it's not ... what you have to know is that you can make the unemployment rate anything you want it to be based on what numbers you include and what numbers you exclude. You have to look at the labor force participation rate."

In 2014, Dr. Carson told radio host Alan Colmes of his fear that President Obama will cancel the 2016 elections due to "anarchy":

Carson: If in fact we continue to have all these decrees being made the way they’re being made, if in fact we don’t fight the kind of war that needs to be fought in order to really put and end to the threat that is brought on ISIS, if we continue along a pathway of financial irresponsibility, if we continue along a path of envy, greed, hatred, what happened with Occupy Wall Street will be a cakewalk compared to what will begin to happen in this country.

Colmes: What do you mean though when you say there won’t be an election in 2016?

Carson: There may be so much anarchy going on.

Colmes: Anarchy? You think really risk having an anarchic America to the point where elections may be put on hold or some kind of emergency is declared with such anarchy that there wouldn’t be a presidential election in a couple of years.

Carson: I don’t want to find out, I really don’t want to find out. I don’t want to continue down this pathway that we are going down. This pathway where everything is framed in a political sense and our representatives are not working for the people, they’re working for their party.

In discussing ISIS, MSNBC reported, Dr. Carson compared the terrorist group to Americans during the Revolutionary War:

"A bunch of rag-tag militiamen defeated the most powerful and professional military force on the planet. Why? Because they believed in what they were doing. They were willing to die for what they believed in," Carson told a luncheon audience of national committee members. "Fast forward to today. What do we have? You've got ISIS. They've got the wrong philosophy, but they're willing to die for it while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness. We have to change that."

On the issue of marriage equality, ThinkProgress reported that Dr. Carson has called for the removal of judges who allow same-sex marriages:

During an interview last week with conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace, Carson, who is considering running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, discussed the wave of recent rulings by federal courts striking down same-sex marriage bans. He argued that statewide ballot initiative results should be the final word, saying it was “unconstitutional” that judges have ruled in favor of equality despite these votes.