May 28th, 2014
07:37 PM ET
5 years ago

Crossfire: Is Ben Carson qualified to be president?

(CNN) - Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and a popular figure among conservatives who's considering a run for president, wouldn't say whether he's qualified to be commander in chief.

Appearing on CNN's "Crossfire” on Wednesday, Carson was asked by co-host Stephanie Cutter on the left whether he thinks he has what it takes to lead the country.

"Well, let me put it this way, I'm not sure that anybody is qualified to be the commander in chief by themselves," Carson said.

"I think you have to surround yourself with the appropriate types of people," he added, pivoting to the political controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's foreign policy.

Pressed again if he thinks he's qualified to lead the United States, Carson reiterated his previous answer: "I said no one in-and-of-themselves. I think you need to have a cadre of the right kinds of people."

Cutter's questioning comes amid intense criticism from the right of Obama's foreign policy, which many Republicans contend has diminished U.S. standing globally.

Obama gave a robust defense of his international policies in a commencement address earlier Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as the pragmatic and most effective expression of America's leadership role in the world.

CNN’s Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Ben Carson • Crossfire • Republican Party
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Depends on who you ask. If the person answering the survey happens to be a raving lunatic, the answer may be yes. If the person is somewhat normal, with average I.Q., the answer will more than likely be NO.

    May 28, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    NO! Another conservative fool who thinks he has the answers when most of the world has taken big steps forward.

    May 28, 2014 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  3. ChrisM

    NO, and that's fact jack

    May 28, 2014 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Vence

    The guy is smart, but lacks leadership!

    May 28, 2014 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Sure, from GOP...go ahead, make my day...

    May 28, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Chris-E...al

    Carson has my vote . Carson is a true american that bleeds pour red american blood an has have to bring some to keep us safe not wanting to or desired to but sometime we have to so we can be safe here at home . He has fought overthere for us so you know he will do the same here . He would make a fine president and a hero to boot . He wants only the best for ALL of us .

    May 28, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    More qualified than Obama is.......that's for certain.

    May 28, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. bill

    he has my vote-–end of story

    May 28, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  9. Starmar58

    Ben Carson is a very intelligent, highly-accomplished man of great integrity. My main concern is he has no military experience. I think, from now on, we should require officer-level military experience.

    May 28, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  10. S. B. Stein

    Technically he is qualified because he is a natural US citizen and over 35 years old. Otherwise, I think he might be best as HHS Sec at best.

    May 28, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  11. Smitty

    He is a whole lot more qualified than Obumbles, seems like a great pick.

    May 28, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. J Anthony

    This shrewd proponent for the antiquated policies of the Republican party will not hold up well under national scrutiny. This country needs a new vision, and it clearly will not be coming from either wing of the plutocracy.

    May 28, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  13. labman57

    Ah, yes ... the good Doctor Carson.
    Carson had previously commented that he will leave it up to God to decide if he should run for major national office (i.e., if it's God's will).

    – He has compared gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia, implying that he regards the gay lifestyle as animalistic, perverted, and criminal.

    – He has denounced the ACA as socialism, a false assessment, but also ignoring the fact thatthere have long been numerous elements of socialism throughout American society. He also foolishly declared that the ACA - legislation which provides health care coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans and which prevents insurance companies from discriminating against individuals with so-called "preexisting conditions" - is exactly like the slavery that existed prior to the Civil War ... when African Americans were bought and sold, separated from loved ones, beaten, raped, and murdered at will.

    – He endorses a flat income tax, which would shift the taxation burden heavily onto the struggling middle class and socio-economically impoverished sectors of society.

    Bottom line: Carson is simply the latest member of the tea-chugging political wannabe club, a cadre of hyperbole-ranting wingnuts who ignorantly toss out loaded terms such as fascist, Marxist, socialist, and communist in order to draw the media spotlight and foment fear and hatred against the Obama administration.

    May 28, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. Chris-E...al

    The words focus and hope comes to me with a smiie . This is true . .

    May 28, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  15. Debbie

    No doubt the man is very smart but I would never ever vote for him. He leans reactionary-fascist.

    May 28, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. HenryMiller

    Carson is at least as qualified as the current Clown-in-Chief, and far more honest.

    May 28, 2014 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. Doyle Wiley, MI

    People didn't vote for President Obama because he is African-American, they voted for him because of his message. Carson you are no President Obama.

    May 29, 2014 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  18. Thomas

    Ben Carson / Rand Paul 2016
    "I think you have to surround yourself with the appropriate types of people,"
    May the Aqua Buddhas be with you .

    May 29, 2014 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  19. Tommy G

    Appearing on CNN's "Crossfire” on Wednesday, Carson was asked by co-host Stephanie Cutter on the left whether he thinks he has what it takes to lead the country.
    -–

    It is absolutely amazing that one of the people that lied to and conned the American people into voting for one the most UNQUALIFIED people to ever occupy the White House, would question the qualifications of others. I thought it was a given now that Obama, the worse President in our history, has been President, that anybody can do it as it surely cannot get any worse than this incompetent buffoon.

    May 29, 2014 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  20. just asking

    Obama gave a robust defense of his international policies
    ---

    what exactly are these mythical international policies? here, let me outline the ones we know about:

    1. blabber and give speeches about red lines, then declare there are really 50 shades of red lines and another one will be drawn should the other be violated.

    2. threaten other countries with meaningless sanctions that are laughable.

    3. send pre-packaged meals to countries that are being invaded and taken over.

    4. pretend to be tough when the whole world knows the biggest bag of hot air to ever inhabit the white house

    5. pretend iran isn't continuing to build a nuke while they laugh at you and say they never agreed to anything.

    6. blame all your screw ups on somebody that hasn't been in office for 6 years.

    May 29, 2014 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  21. Jane

    After Obama, I Think Anyone Would Count As Qualified....Community Organizer, What A Joke!

    May 29, 2014 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  22. @RI_Roger

    Why didn't Stephanie Cutter ask that question to the President back in 2008? Stephanie was clearly over matched in against Mr. Carson..... her stuttering and pauses wasted more time than commercials. Newt sat back and smirked, he knew she was out witted every time she opened her mouth.

    May 29, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  23. Rob

    Is been Carson qualified. Obama isn't and he got elected. Seems a brain dead puppy could do a better job than what we have now.

    May 29, 2014 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  24. Marie MD

    Maybe he and randy paul, the self proclaime doctor and diploma guy, can start a practice together in AK.

    May 29, 2014 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  25. rla

    The only thing robust about Obama is his robust willingness to deceive and lie!

    May 29, 2014 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
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