The president of the United States should not be a Muslim, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson declared during an interview airing Sunday morning. And Islam, a faith professed by some 3 million Americans, is not constitutional, the retired neurosurgeon said.
At the end of his “Meet the Press” segment with NBC News’ Chuck Todd, Carson responded to a series of questions related to Donald Trump’s failure to correct an audience member at a New Hampshire town hall last Thursday who suggested in his question that President Barack Obama is a Muslim and not an American.
Asked whether his faith or the faith of a president should matter, Carson said, “It depends on what that faith is.”
“If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem,” he explained, according to a transcript.
Todd then asked Carson, whose rise in the polls has been powered in large part by Christian conservatives, if he believed that “Islam is consistent with the Constitution.”
“No, I don’t, I do not,” he responded, adding, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
But for Carson, the matter of voting for a Muslim for Congress “is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says, you know.”
“And, you know, if there’s somebody who’s of any faith, but they say things, and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed, and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them,” he went on to say.
Obama is both a Christian and born in the United States, Carson said, adding that he had “no reason to doubt” the president.
SOURCE: NICK GASS