GAINESVILLLE - Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, speaking Sunday to a Gainesville crowd, touted “true compassion” for the poor and blasted the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling.
“We shouldn’t give away our values for the sake of political correctness,” he said as a packed crowd at a Free Chapel morning service erupted in applause.
Carson, who grew up in poverty to become one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons, said he had “no desire whatsoever to hurt the poor … but I believe in true compassion, providing the poor with a mechanism to climb the ladder of success,” Carson said.
“False compassion is patting them on the head and saying, ‘You can’t take care of yourself and I’m going to give you food stamps, a housing subsidy and free health care and all the things you need so you can stay dependent and vote for me.’”
Carson, who was at the church as part of his “A More Perfect Union” book tour, also said he believes “it is incumbent upon us to be well-informed,” which is why he and his wife, Candy, wrote the book.
“Most Americans know we have a constitution, but few people actually know what’s in it and what’s behind it,” he said. “And yet, it’s essential to the maintenance of our liberties and for the restraint of our government.
“Our government has gotten a little bit unruly and is doing some things that indicate that perhaps they have forgotten about our constitution.”
He criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling over the summer “redefining marriage.”
“I believe in live and let live, and that’s what our founders believed in too,” Carson said.
“You can do what you want to do as long as it doesn’t infringe upon somebody else’s rights, but it was never intended that anybody should have extra rights and that they should get to redefine everything for everybody else. That’s a problem for me.”
Also, “I don’t think (justices) read the part where it says civil issues should be handled at the local or state level. … The country is supposed to be about the people and not a bunch of judges who are not elected.”
“If you continue to allow this oligarchy of judges to do whatever they want, they will become even more emboldened. Everything needs to be restrained in its proper setting.”
Carson also talked about his upbringing, religious faith and medical career.
Before he became a presidential candidate, Carson retired as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is well known for his groundbreaking work in separating conjoined twins and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the country.
Carson’s autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” was the subject of an award-winning television movie in which Cuba Gooding Jr. played Carson.
During his speech, he referred to Molly Sullivan, whom he operated on when she was a child.
Molly, now 19, was diagnosed at 5 with an incurable brain malformation, met with Carson Sunday morning, along with her parents, Gary and Stefani Sullivan of Dahlonega.
“He’s the most truly brilliant human being I have ever met — and the most humble and genuine,” Stefani said afterward. “And he doesn’t take any credit for his gift at all — he said, ‘It’s just how God uses me.’
“He just does what he’s led to do, and that’s why he’s running (for president).”