Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said he would not support a Muslim as President of the United States.
Responding to a question on “Meet the Press,” the retired neurosurgeon said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
He also said that Islam, as a religion, is incompatible with the Constitution.
Carson, who is near the top of several early presidential polls, said a president’s faith should matter depending on what that faith is. “If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter,” he clarified.
Carson’s comments come days after another Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, did not distance himself from a questioner at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire who accused President Obama of being a foreign-born Muslim and called Muslims a “problem” in the United States. Carson said he has “no reason to doubt” that President Obama was born in the United States and is a Christian.
Many times in the past, Trump has questioned Obama’s birthplace and American citizenship.
On “Meet the Press,” Trump was asked if he was comfortable with a Muslim being president. Trump responded, “It’s something that at some point could happen.” The real estate mogul continued, “Would I be comfortable? I don’t know if we have to address it right now.”
On the topic of foreign policy, he said he would use “every resource available” when dealing with ISIS in Iraq. However, he was hesitant to commit to using U.S. troops in Syria.
He hopes to drive ISIS out of Iraq and into Syria, which would put them in a fight solely with the Assad government.
“I would be in favor of pushing them [ISIS] up into Syria, because there’s going to be a lot of conflict, obviously, with them there,” Carson said. “Let them fight each other.”