Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson on Friday clarified comments he made in an interview that Obamacare might be worse than 9/11, saying that he wanted "to be clear and set the record straight."
"I don't think Obamacare is worse than 9/11," he said in a statement, Mediaite reports.
"The two things aren't comparable and I never intended to compare them.
"Let's stop sidelining important issues and move forward with intelligent and open discussions on how to solve America's problems for the sake and benefit of the American people," he said.
Carson, 62, a Newsmax columnist who is considering a Republican White House run in 2016, told The Daily Beast
on Thursday that the Affordable Care Act would do more long-term damage to the United States than the terrorist attacks — an isolated incident.
"You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America," Carson said. "You have to be someone who reads, who is well-read. I want you to go back tonight and pull out what [community organizer] Saul Alinsky says about healthcare under the control of the government."
He also declined to say directly, in response to a question, whether Obamcare or Osama bin Laden had caused families more pain.
The analogy drew immediate criticism — and followed controversial remarks in which Carson likened Obamacare to slavery; same-sex marriage to pedophilia and bestiality; and said the United States was "very much like Nazi Germany."
Last month, Carson told Fox News
that the scandal at the Veterans Affairs Department — in which veterans died waiting for healthcare because of fake wait lists at the Phoenix center — was "a gift from God" because it portends the future of healthcare in America under Obamacare.
The comments about same-sex marriage led Carson to step down in April as commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the school he retired from last summer as chief of pediatric neurosurgery.
The dean of Johns Hopkins' medical school called Carson's remarks offensive and divisive.
Carson explained his decision by saying he did not want to "distract from the celebratory nature of the day."
He has defended some of his remarks, saying that liberals and the mainstream media have misconstrued them.
Referencing the Nazi remarks in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee
in March, Carson said liberals had wrongly claimed that he said that "progressives are Nazis and that they are changing America into Nazi Germany."
"Of course that is not the case, but that is what they do," he said. "They repeat these lies over and over again because they cannot argue the actual facts."
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