As we get ready to watch tonight’s Republican debate, we can reasonably predict that the following will happen: Donald Trump will call at least one other candidate a loser (probably Marco Rubio this round); everything that Jeb Bush say will sound awkward and uninspired; in their one chance to talk, Rand Paul and John Kasich will demonstrate impressive policy wonkery that will then get ignored by the pundits; Carly Fiorina will double-down on her lies about Planned Parenthood; and current frontrunner Ben Carson won’t say much of anything.
Regarding this final prediction, Dr. Carson has yet to say anything memorable in any of the debates. In fact, he has stayed noticeably silent through them. As the U.S. News and World Report has observed, Carson strategy for every debate so far seems to be to get through it without attacking any of his fellow candidates and without giving his political opponents material for sound-bytes that they can use against him. This strategy has allowed him to survive each debate largely unscathed, with his relative silence having no adverse impact on his poll numbers. For tonight’s debate, we should expect more of the same from Carson, especially after he blew up at the press this weekend over what he decried as unfair coverage of his campaign.
It’s not like Carson doesn’t have anything to say. As recent coverage of his campaign has reminded us, Dr. Carson has always been willing to share his often controversial perspective on a variety of subjects. Some of his comments are comically absurd, as when he speculated about the true purpose of the pyramids or proposed a biblically-inspired flat-tax plan that even Fox News claimed would trigger massive tax cuts for the wealthy while raising taxes on the middle class. Other comments are simply offensive, even disturbing, like when he compared the Affordable Care Act to slavery at the 2013 Values Voters Summit or recently endorsed separate but equal restrooms for transgender Americans. Then, there are those moments when his words are callous, as evidenced by his response to the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
Since Dr. Carson seems unwilling to disclose these views on the debate stage, we have put together this slide show to remind our readers of what happens when the neurosurgeon who would be president does speak his mind. In addition to the above-referenced nuggets, you will also read about his creative interpretation of the Big Bang Theory, his theories that prisons produce gay people and political correctness causes drug addition, one more slavery analogy–his comparison of women who make the difficult choice to terminate a pregnancy to slaveowners, and many more jawdropping displays of intellectual gymnastics. It truly is a shame that this candidate does not feel compelled to speak up more during a nationally televised debate.