And now for something completely Carson

And now for something completely Carson

by digby

Trump gave us some really ugly black-shirt stuff this morning. Carson's just ... Carson. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Dr. Carson, thank you for joining us this morning. Glad you're with us right now.

And I do want to get your response to some of the things we've talked about with Donald Trump on how to respond to ISIS.

Number one, he said we should bring back those enhanced interrogation techniques, which President Obama discontinued like waterboarding. Do you agree?

CARSON: I agree that there's no such thing as political correctness when you're fighting an enemy who wants to destroy you and everything that you have anything to do with. And I'm not one who is real big on telling the enemy what we're going to do and what we're not going to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you would do that even though many consider waterboarding torture?

CARSON: As I said, I'm not real big on telling them what we would or would not do. I just don't think that's a -- I don't see where that accomplishes anything for us.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have said we should monitor any churches or mosques where there is a lot of radicalization or things that are anti-American. How would you determine that?

CARSON: Well, I said in the larger capacity that we should monitor anything -- mosques, church, school, you know, shopping center where there is a lot of radicalization going on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But how would you know that is happening?

CARSON: Intelligence. We have intelligence on the ground already.

We do need to enhance that. You know, for instance, we've learned last week that the FBI seems to be only to be able to monitor 30 to 60 people at a time. And we know there's a lot more than that that need to be monitored.

We need to get very serious about our intelligence.

Remember what happened with the monitoring at the airports. So much of the stuff was able to get through.

We have to really improve that very significantly. We're talking about the safety of the American people.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you want to enhance the intelligence.

How about this issue of the terror watch list? As I told Mr. Trump, under the current law, people on the terror watchlist are permitted to buy guns, have been permitted to buy guns and explosives. Would you continue that?

CARSON: Well, as you, I'm sure, know, there are a lot of people on that watchlist and they have no idea why they're on that list and they've been trying to get their names off of it and no one will give them information. You know, I am a big supporter of the Second Amendment, and I don't want to deprive people unnecessarily of that. There needs to be better due process.

And that's one thing that I'm very interested in finding a way to make government more responsive to the people. It's really unfair that people can't get a real hearing. And they get put on a list and nobody can tell them why they're there, and they go through for years and years and they have to be tormented. It just doesn't make any sense.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you -- on the broader strategy against ISIS, I spoke with President Obama last week, as you know, and had him respond to your comments you made at the debate where you said it would be fairly easy to take out the ISIS oil fields near Anbar. Here's what he said.


OBAMA: What I think is that he doesn't know much about it. And, look, George I think it's fair to say that over the last several years I've had access to all the best military minds in the country and all the best foreign policy minds in the country. If I'm down in the situation room talking with people who have worked in these regions and who have run major military operations and they don't think it's easy, then it's probably not easy.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think your advisers are better than President Obama's?

CARSON: Well, you know what I do know is that, you know, we have people who are very dangerous and they want to destroy us. And we don't really have the option of deciding whether it's easy or not to take them out. We have to take them out. We have to do what's necessary. And what that means is we need to make it very difficult for them to move money. We need to get rid of their ability to derive money from oil, whether we take the fields or whether we blow the fields up. I've been saying that for a very long time.

We need to take the land back.

You know, the land is just sitting there. You know, they have...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you need ground troops to take the land back...

CARSON: ...propaganda -- they have all the propaganda associated with that.

You know, you see in northern Iraq that we've been able to work extremely effectively with the Kurds. That's a fighting force that we need to cultivate. And, you know, we've sort of given up on the Iraqi fighting force because, you know, they've fled when they were fired upon. But the fact of the matter is, they didn't have the right kind of advisers. And our special ops people -- if you put the special ops people there with them, I don't think you're going to see that same kind of thing happening.

We can fight with those forces, and we need to consult our Department of Defense in terms of what do -- what else do we need? We need to define for them the mission. And then we need to say to them what do you need in order to accomplish that. And that's what we should do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of focus this week on your foreign policy views and your advisers. New York Times headline said you were struggling with foreign policy. And one of your close friends and business manager Armstrong Williams was actually quoted saying Dr. Carson is still on a learning curve. There is much for him to learn.

You know, with national security and terrorism such a top concern now of voters, can you explain why they should choose a commander-in-chief who is still on a learning curve?

CARSON: Well, I hope everybody is on a learning curve. You know in medicine we have something called CME, continuing medical education.

It recognizes the fact that things are always in the process of changing. And if you stay stagnant and you say, well, I'm up on it and now I'll go relax, you're not going to be very competent. And the same thing applies with being commander-in-chief. The world is a rapidly changing place. All kinds of dynamics going on. Yes, we should have in place protocols to deal with that 2:00 a.m. call in the morning, but we also need to have the ability to think quickly and to be flexible.

You know, I would be willing to say that I probably have more 2:00 a.m. in the morning experience than everybody else running combined, making life and death decisions. You have to be able to do that.

And you know, so who has got the most experience? I don't know that it necessarily comes down to politics, it comes down to practical experience solving difficult problems doing things quickly and efficiently and using the resources available to you to get that done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, Dr. Carson, new CBS poll out this morning shows Ted Cruz pulling ahead of you in Iowa for the first time since May. Are you worried about the fact that you may be losing steam there?

CARSON: Well, you know, it's a marathon, it's not a sprint. So, there's going to be ups and downs as we go along the way. That's why we have an elongated process rather than just a week or two.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Don't seem too concerned. Dr. Carson, thanks for joining us this morning.

Yes, thanks.  I've got a bumper sticker for him: Not quite as scary but just as dumb as Trump.