Ben Carson on the Media: ‘If the Nation Goes Off the Cliff, They’re Going Off with It’

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson encouraged members of the media to stand “on the side of the people,” saying if the nation goes off the fiscal cliff, reporters are going along with it.

“I am just so tickled with the media. I mean, these guys, they just don’t get it and the interesting thing is the media is the only business in America protected by the United States Constitution. And there was a reason that they were protected; it was because they were supposed to be on the side of the people,” Carson said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.

“They weren’t supposed to pick and choose which side they were on because that distorts the entire system. And we should hope and pray that one day they come to understand that if the nation goes off the cliff they’re going off with it. Maybe they will wake up and begin to understand what is going on,” he added.

The retired neurosurgeon explained that the media twisted his answer to a question about whether or not he would support a Muslim for president.

Carson said he recently went back and forth with an unnamed commentator who told him, “But you said that someone who was of Islamic faith and a Muslim could not be president of the United States.”

In response, Carson told the commentator to re-read the transcript of the full interview.

“I said anybody of any faith of any belief system who comes to America, becomes an American citizen, embraces our American values and principles, and is willing to subjugate their beliefs to our Constitution is somebody I have no problem with,” Carson said. “Anybody that doesn’t fit in that category, I don’t care who they are, they can be a Christian, if they don’t fit in that category I’m not going to advocate they be president of the United States. It’s as simple as that.”

Carson emphasized that his position in “no way precludes them from running.”

“The last I checked we all had the right to decide who we wanted to advocate for. We don’t have to in any way say that you must say this or you must say that, you know, political correctness is ruining our country and we need to stand up for what we actually believe. It’s ridiculous,” he said.

Carson argued that the media does not want to talk about “real issues” like the nation’s fiscal irresponsibility.

“As a pediatric neurosurgeon I spent my entire career working on the welfare of children; I cannot sit by and watch us ruining their future,” Carson said.

He specifically mentioned America’s $18 trillion national debt.

“What a ridiculous amount of money,” he said. “To pay that back at a rate of $10 million a day, 365 days a year, it would take you over 5,000 years – and that’s what we’re putting on the backs of our young people.”

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee positioned himself as the best candidate to take on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.