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Ed Rollins on Ben Carson: 'The Presidency Is No Place for Amateurs'

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Monday, 07 Jul 2014 06:53 PM

Editor’s Note: Every day this week "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV takes you on “The Road to the White House,” a look at some of the top presidential contenders for 2016.

Dr. Ben Carson is a brilliant man with an impressive conservative ideology — but the renowned neurosurgeon is too much of a political novice to win the White House, two leading GOP observers tell Newsmax TV.

"Dr. Carson is an extraordinary man and I'm glad we have him out there talking about big issues,'' Republican campaign consultant and advisor Ed Rollins said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show.''

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"[But] the presidency is no place for amateurs. Experienced politicians of extraordinary temperament need to be the ones that run.

"[Carson] has a very powerful message, but dealing with trying to get elected and pulling primaries and caucuses and raising a billion dollars or more, which is what will take to beat Hillary Clinton, is a long hard road and I just don't think he could do it.''

Matt Towery — CEO of Insider Advantage, an Atlanta-based firm specializing in political and public policy polling — agreed.

"The Republican Party … just doesn't have a history of giving the nomination to many folks, who have not either been a U.S. senator or a congressman or governor or a general in a major war, such as Dwight Eisenhower,'' he said.

"It's just really tough business out there. I like what he has to say, it's very compelling, but it'd be very difficult to see him making it through the primaries.''

The candid assessment of Carson — who has been mulling a possible run for the 2016 GOP nomination — came as Newsmax TV debuted its "Road to the White House,'' which will take a candid look at potential presidential candidates.

Towery said if Carson were to seek the nomination as a Republican and African American, there would be a "novelty" factor — such as when businessman Herman Cain threw his hat in the ring.

"The problem is when you get into a general election, were he to make it to that point, it's a very difficult road trying to move African American voters away from the Democratic Party and as far as women go, they're the critical swing vote,'' he said.

"When the economy gets better women tend to drift a bit more, independent women, tend to be more to the center of the dial and so issues like abortion become more important, we're starting to begin to see that again. He'd have some trouble in a national election.''

But Towery added that Carson would do very well as a presidential appointee, serving as the secretary of Health and Human Services or Surgeon General.

Rollins also believes Carson would be quickly crowded out of a growing field of potential candidates.

"We've got very serious candidates … five or six governors … a couple of senators who are going to run [from both the] tea party and establishment, and my sense is that our party is not going to turn to someone that they don't know and doesn't have a familiarity, with no matter how powerful his message is,'' he said.

"It's as rough and tough as any game there is and I've been around nine presidential campaigns.''

Both said that Carson would do very well in a presidential cabinet, serving as secretary of Health and Human Services.

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