Strickland Criticizes Carson Over Nazi Remarks, Then Admits: ‘I Haven’t Read Your Book’

By Michael W. Chapman | May 29, 2014 | 2:03 PM EDT

Dr. Ben Carson, left, and Former Gov. Ted Strickland on CNN's Crossfire, May 28, 2014. (Screen image: CNN)

( --  After criticizing Dr. Ben Carson for comments he made about Nazi Germany in relation to the doctor’s own book America the Beautiful, Ted Strickland, the former governor of Ohio and a former member of Congress, then admitted that he had not even read Carson’s book.

That led the conservative Carson to remind the liberal Strickland that “you can’t judge a book by its cover” and, before making  claims about people, “you need to read the book.”

On CNN’s May 28 Crossfire, Carson discussed his Nazi Germany remarks, explaining that if Americans do not like certain things, then they should speak up and not be intimidated by political correctness. “[I]nstead of protesting, instead of registering their displeasure, they [people in Germany] simply decided to go along to get along,” he said.  “That is a very dangerous thing to do.”

“And I was using that as an example of how dangerous that can be,” said Carson,  “and I’m making a point to the American people, that if, in fact, you feel differently about what’s going on, you should not be shut up.”

Strickland then entered the conversation, saying, “No one is being shut up in America.”

The exchange continued as follows:

Carson: “What about political correctness?”

Strickland:  “You’re on Fox News, you write books, Newt [Gingrich] talks, Stephanie [Cutter] talks, I talk.”

Carson: “What about political correctness – what is that?”

Strickland:  “I don’t engage in political correctness, maybe you do.”

Carson: “I see.”

Strickland:  “But, doctor, these are your quotes. You said we live in a Gestapo age and we’re – this is a quote – very much like Nazi Germany, and then you write a book about America the Beautiful.  That seems to be such a contradiction.”

Carson:  “Did you read the book?”

Strickland: “I have not read the book, no.”

Carson: “I rest my case.”

Strickland:  “What case?”

Carson:  “You don’t even know what the book is about.”

Strickland:  “What, the fact that I haven’t read your book?”

CNN Crossfire co-hosts Stephanie Cutter and Newt Gingrich. (AP)

Carson:  “Because you’re making these claims and you’re using the fact that I write a book to back up your claims and you haven’t even read the book.”

Strickland:  “I’m using the title of your book, America the Beautiful, and that’s a beautiful phrase.”

Carson:   “Did you ever hear the phrase that ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’?  Do you know why people say that? Because you need to read the book.”

Strickland:  “Then maybe you can’t judge a book by the title, I don’t know.”

America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, was published in 2013, and was written by Dr. Ben Carson and his wife, Lacina “Candy” Carson.

Dr. Carson, the author of four best-selling books -- Gifted Hands, Think Big, The Big Picture, and Take the Risk -- is the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

Ted Strickland was the 68th governor of Ohio (2007-2011) and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2007 and in 1993-95.

CNN’s Crossfire is hosted by two people on the political left, Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones, and two people on the political right, Newt Gingrich and S.E. Cupp.  Guests are invited on the program to discuss current events and public policy in a debate-like, left-right format.

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman