Dr. Ben Carson Quizzed About Presidential Run in Parade Magazine

The Sunday newspaper supplement Parade magazine interviewed "neurosurgeon turned conservative star" Ben Carson for the Sunday papers.

Bill Hewitt asked straightforward questions that asked Carson about a presidential campaign without judgment. He also asked about Ted Cruz, a Carson favorite, although that section was only online.

PARADE: I recently drove behind a car with a Carson ’16 bumper sticker. Surprised?

CARSON: Those are starting to show up. It’s pretty amazing. I certainly understand why they feel the way they do. I’m thinking that it’s not so much me they want as it is just some common sense and courage.

PARADE: Do you have any timetable for deciding about a presidential run?

CARSON: The way I look at it, I want to see how the country wants to move. We’ll find out a lot in November. If most people are satisfied with ever-increasing government, I would just back off. But if people indicate they would like more about personal responsibility, willingness to work hard, and sacrifice, I would stay involved at whatever level is necessary.

PARADE: You’re critical of political correctness. Is there anywhere you’d draw the line on acceptable speech?

CARSON: For the most part, I think you can speak up for what you believe without insulting people. The purveyors of political correctness want you to believe that anything you say that offends somebody else shouldn’t be said. You have people trying to fan the flames, very much like in grade school, you know, “Did you hear what he said about your mama?” They’re just trying to create strife.

PARADE: Your personal story—raised by a single mother with only a third grade education who got married at 13—is remarkable.

CARSON: My mother Sonya refused to be a victim. She refused to make excuses and [didn’t] accept them from us. She worked very hard to stay off of public assistance. I also had an understanding that I was the only person who could determine my aspirations and bring them to fruition through determination and faith. I also was not fond of poverty.

The Ted Cruz section came right after the timetable talk:

PARADE: As you look at the field of potential Republican contenders for president, is there anyone who jumps out at you as an attractive candidate?

CARSON: I particularly like Ted Cruz, because he’s hard to intimidate. Courage is something that’s so vital to the maintenance of a free society. When you have a lot of people who just go along to get along, that’s when things begin to change under your feet and all of the sudden you’ve got a different society.

PARADE: So if you were in a room with Sen. Cruz, you’d urge him to run?

CARSON: I have been in a room with him–he’s a good friend–and I think he’s the kind of person who really could make a difference.

When asked if it was a hard to decision to "retire so early," Carson added, "No, because someone told me that neurosurgeons die early. I didn’t believe it, so I wrote down the names of the last 10 I knew who’d died. Their average age of death was 61. So I decided I would retire when I was 61."

Earlier: Parade Interview with Obamas Pushes Myths on President Obama's Mother

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