(CNSNews.com) - Jim Acosta, filling in as host of CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, asked Dr. Ben Carson if he really advocates "using drone strikes to secure the border with Mexico."
Carson dismissed the idea as "ridiculous." "At some point, I hope we have some responsible media which actually focuses on the problem," Carson said.
"It was quite clear what I was talking about," he explained. "I said that drones are excellent for surveillance. You know, along that border, we have miles and miles of fences. And, you know, I went there last week and didn't see any Border Patrol people. And those fences are so easy to scale. It is almost like not having a fence there.
"So, drones can help with the surveillance. In no way did I suggest that drones be used to kill people. And I said that to the media at the time. I said, you guys are -- some of you are going to go out and say Carson wants to use drones to kill people on the borders.
"How ridiculous," he continued. "At some point, I hope we have some responsible media which actually focuses on the problem. We have a huge security risk there. And talking to some of the sheriffs down there on the border -- (Pinal County, Ariz.) Sheriff (Paul) Babeu, (Cochise County, Ariz.) Sheriff (Mark) Dannels, and some of the other law enforcement agencies -- listen to the frustration. You should have them on your show, and let them talk about what is actually going on down there.
"And it seems like we have not only the cartels to deal with, the drug smugglers, the people smugglers, but we have the federal government, which is not being helpful. Over the last couple of years, they have released 67,000 of those people."
Acosta interrupted: "You are saying under no circumstances would you use drones for military purposes along the U.S./Mexico border? No drone strikes whatsoever?"
"No, no, that's -- that's a -- that is a total lie, Carson said. "What I said is, it's possible that a drone could be used to destroy the caves that are utilized to hide people. Those need to be gotten rid of."
Carson said he was not talking about would-be illegal immigrants hiding in caves. He said he meant "the scouts and the people who are facilitating all illegal activities."
"Those caves are very evident," Carson said. "And I hope you have some of the sheriffs in. They can show you the pictures. They can show you what is going on there. We are not getting support from the federal government to deal with these people. They're being outgunned. You know, 56 percent of that border is not under our control.
"OK, but I just want to make sure we button this down," Acosta said. "So, you're are saying that, in some instances, you would advocate using drone strikes to take out cartels that are bringing migrants across the border? Is that what you're talking about? Wouldn't there be some instances where perhaps--"
"Listen, read my lips," Carson interrupted. "Listen very carefully to what I am saying. I said there are caves. There are caves that they utilize. Those caves can be eliminated. There are a number of possibilities. That could be one of them. I am not talking about killing people, no people with drones."
"You would just take out the caves themselves," Acosta said. "You would make sure that the caves are empty and then drone them? And that's what you're saying?"
"I think that is -- I made that very clear," Carson said. "And I also made it very clear that we have excellent military people and military strategists. We need to get them involved. We have National Guard. Why are they called the National Guard? Because they guard the nation. Let's put them on the border. That is where they need to be."
In the course of the interview, Carson also said he considers the controversy over the term "anchor babies" to be "silly political correctness."
"Everybody knows what we are talking about. We need to talk about the actual issue, and stop getting pulled off into the weeds, and saying, you can use this term, you can't use that term. It is so silly."
Carson said the 2016 election "will be a very excellent opportunity for the American people to make a clear choice" among whomever the eventual candidates are.
Asked if he would consider serving as Donald Trump's running mate, Carson said, "All things are possible, but it is much too early to begin such conversations."