Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson took a spot in the first Republican presidential debate, at least the main event, as seven other candidates debated issues earlier. There were some who thought he should not have been included in the top ten.
At the end of the night not only did he show he belongs, but may well compete deep into this campaign, outpointing and outclassing Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Much the way Carly Fiorina did earlier, Carson was prepared and showed little weakness in the delivery or substance of his message.
It is hard to remember Trump actually answering a question directly. Trump raised a few eyrows when the New York real estate mogul refused to commit to supporting the Republican ticket for president. That perhaps was the highlight of his night.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie channeled his 2012 inner self, tying to establish himself again as a tough talking executive. Christie acquitted himself well for the most part as he tries to gain some relevance back again and engaged Rand Paul about NSA.
Paul said he’s “proud of standing for the Bill of Rights,” but Christie called his stance “completely ridiculous” – suggesting he wants to cherry-pick only some data.
Most of the candidates expectedly blasted the Obama Administration for the Iran deal.
Ben Carson Highlights
“If Hillary is the candidate, which I doubt, that would be a dream come true,” said Carson when he’s asked about Hillary Clinton. “She is the epitome of the secular progressive movement…taking advantage of useful idiots”
Carson responds to a question on why he does not speak more about race, explaining that – as a neurosurgeon – he operates on the “things that make us who we are,” not skin.
“I’m the only one to take out half a brain, but if you went to Washington you would think someone had beat me to it.”
“Experience,” Carson replied, “comes from a large number of different arenas, and America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation, and that’s what will get us on the right track now, as well.”