Dr. Ben Carson Challenges Al Sharpton to Debate

Image: Dr. Ben Carson Challenges Al Sharpton to Debate (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Landov)

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 04:43 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Conservative commentator Dr. Ben Carson has challenged liberal TV host Al Sharpton to a public debate, with the Ferguson riots as a leading talking point.

"I had an opportunity to speak with Rev. Sharpton a couple months ago at the White House Correspondents' Dinner," Carson told Fox News on Monday, according to Mediaite.

Carson said he told Sharpton, "We want the same kinds of things but we have very different approaches to achieving them. What do you think about a public debate to talk about the various ways that we can get this done?"

Sharpton was "initially enthusiastic" about the challenge, but they have not yet scheduled a meeting, said Carson, a Fox News contributor. "But the offer still stands."

Sharpton's spokeswoman told Mediaite that Sharpton knew nothing about Carson's debate challenge, but pointed out that Sharpton has invited Carson onto his MSNBC TV show on previous occasions and Carson had declined.

The spokeswoman said that there is "an open invitation" to Carson to be a guest on Sharpton's show.

Sharpton has been leading rallies in Ferguson after unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, even though black leaders in the city had expressed their fears that Sharpton's presence would be a catalyst for more angry protests.

Editor's Note: Special: Ben Carson's Best-Seller 'One Nation' for $4.95

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