Right-wing hero Dr. Ben Carson, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has been widely attacked for comparing Obamacare to slavery, but in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Carson refused to back down from the comparison.
“In a way anything is slavery that robs you of control of running your own life,” Carson said, when the host David Gregory put him on the spot. “And, when you take the most important thing you have, which is your health care, and you put that in the hands of government bureaucrats, I think you have done the wrong thing.”
Carson’s original comments came during the Values Voter Summit in October, when he said the Affordable Care Act is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
“And it is in a way,” he said then. “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.”
When Gregory ran a clip of the comment, Carson said, “First, recognize what I said. The worst thing since slavery. I didn’t say it was slavery.”
“You said it is slavery in a way,” Gregory interrupted, reading the quote.
That’s when Carson gave his explanation. He also referred to “neo-Marxist literature.”
“You go back and look at the neo-Marxist literature and look at what they say, you don’t have to look at what I say, about taking control of the health care of a populace and making the people dependent,” he said. “This is not what America is about.”
“Do I believe in health care for everybody? Absolutely. But I think there are much better ways to get there, which leave the care in the hands of patients, and of doctors.”
Back in March, though Carson thrilled the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, he finished a distant third in the 2014 CPAC straw poll. Carson was picked by 9 percent of the conservative poll respondents, with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul gaining the bulk of the votes at 31 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 11 percent. Paul increased his margin since last year’s CPAC poll, when he received 25 percent of the votes.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in fourth place with 8 percent of the vote.
During a speech that was enthusiastically received by the CPAC crowd, Carson attacked the Obama administration and vowed to take on his liberal and media critics.
“I will continue to defy the PC [political correctness] police who have tried, in many cases, to shut me up. I actually find them pretty amusing,” Carson said.