Ben Carson: Trump's Rise Means 'Fewer People Are Talking About My Lack of Political Experience'

By Susan Jones | August 3, 2015 | 5:46am EDT
Dr. Ben Carson says political experience is not the only thing that counts in a potential president. (AP File Photo)

( - Dr. Ben Carson says Donald Trump's rise in the polls has been a "tremendous" help to him.

"It's a tremendous aid, because fewer people are talking about my lack of political experience now, and that's good," Carson told NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd.

"Experience can come from a variety of different places," Carson said.

"And certainly the life that you have led, you know, in my case, solving complex problems, being involved in corporate America, starting a national nonprofit, you get an enormous amount of experience doing these things, particularly in solving problems. And, you know, it's an erroneous thought that only political experience is expedient."

As Chuck Todd noted, Carson and Donald Trump are the only declared Republican candidates who have never previously run for office.

Nevertheless, both men are expected to be among the ten people taking part in the first Republican debate on Thursday night.

Carson said the debate will be an opportunity for voters to "see who I really am, not who other people have said that I am." Because he's a neurosurgeon, he said, people tend to ask him about medical things -- "and very seldom do I get asked about, you know, other types of political things that are important."

Carson's stand on immigration sets him apart from some of his Republican rivals. He favors giving millions of illegal aliens guest worker status. "People will call that amnesty," Todd said.

"Well, you know, I have heard people say, yeah, round them all up and send them back," Carson responded. "They have no idea what they're talking about and how much that costs and how impractical that is. And many of these people don't know any other place, this is the only place they've been. So, where are you going to send them back to in that situation?

What I would do instead is let them register and become guest workers, they have to pay a back tax penalty and pay taxes going forward, it does not give them voting rights. It does not make them a citizen. And if they they want citizenship, they get in the back of the line and go through the same process as everybody else, because we cannot neglect the people who have done it the right way.

"People will call that amnesty," Todd told him.

"They can call it whatever they want to, but we also have to be pragmatic," Carson replied.

On another topic, Todd asked Carson why he described the "Black Lives Matter" movement as "silly."

"I don't recall calling it silly," Carson responded, "but what I called silly is political correctness going amok, that's what's silly. When, you know -- I guess it was Martin O'Malley who said, you know, Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, he got in trouble for that and had to apologize. That's what -- that's what I'm talking about is silly.

"Of course all lives matter. And, of course, we should be very concerned about what's going on, particularly in our inner cities. It's a crime. You know, for a young black man, the most likely cause of death is homicide. That is a huge problem we need to address in a very serious way."

MRC Store