Ben Carson vs. Ben Carson
The GOP's latest pack leader has a consistency problemBy Kyle Cheney
10/28/15 05:11 AM EDT
Ben Carson calls abortion murder but thinks states should decide whether it's legal. The retired neurosurgeon says it's wrong to accuse fellow Americans of treason, yet suggested President Barack Obama could be guilty of the crime. He advocates severe punishment as a deterrent for health care fraud, yet helped secure a lighter sentence for a convicted schemer.
On issue after issue, Carson’s positions conflict, a collection of statements, assertions and pronouncements that are often out of step with a conservative electorate whose support has driven him to the top of the polls. Carson so far has escaped scrutiny, but that most likely will change as he steps on stage Wednesday for the third Republican debate, this time as a pack leader.
Consider his position on vaccines.
In February, Carson wrote a column titled Vaccinations Are Good for the Nation. In it, he joined with the majority of scientists and medical professionals in supporting childhood vaccination. He went so far as to suggest it should be mandatory. He did not mention the stubbornly persistent myth that vaccines cause autism, but he referenced the related trend among some parents to delay vaccinations out of fear.
“Certain people have discussed the possibility of potential health risks from vaccinations,” he wrote during the sudden measles outbreak in the United States. “I am not aware of scientific evidence of a direct correlation. I think there probably are people who may make a correlation where one does not exist, and that fear subsequently ignites, catches fire and spreads. But it is important to educate the public about what evidence actually exists.”