Pushing back against the outrage made by his remarks, Carson told The Hill that he was one of the few candidates running for president willing to tell the hard truths. “It is an absurd hypothetical question“.
“Dr. Carson’s remarks are just another example of Republican candidates refusing to speak for 3 million Muslim Americans”, Reid said on the Senate floor.
Check out the full Monday statement. Obama says he is a Christian. In an interview with NBC, he said he “absolutely” does not advocate having a Muslim for president. “I can say it’s something that at some point could happen”.
In a later interview, Carson was asked by WPEC-TV’s Israel Balderas if there is any scenario in which he would support a Muslim elected to the presidency. “If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter”.
The Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights anti-Semitism and other bigotry, called Carson’s comments “deeply offensive, un-American and contrary to the Constitution” in a statement from ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt. He says it’s because “they’re chasing for the same votes”.
“So, do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?” But he also said he stood by his original comments, saying the country can not elect people “whose faith might interfere with carrying out the duties of the constitution”.
Trump has since said that he has many Muslim friends and that he would have no problem appointing a Muslim to serve in his Cabinet.
On Friday, Carson defended Trump’s decision to not correct the audience member for saying the president was a Muslim and for answering the question, according to NBC News.
“You know, the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist”, said Cruz during a taping of “Iowa Press,” a public access TV show.
“It’s beyond the pale and he should withdraw”, said Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) representative Ibrahim Hooper.
Carson has noted that religious toleration is a hallmark of his life. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, another presidential candidate, spoke out against Carson’s comments.