If President Barack Obama vetoes funding the Department of Homeland Security because it doesn’t include support for his immigration initiatives, it might be time to talk about "treason," retired neurosurgeon and potential 2016 presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax TV's
The House and Senate have been wrestling with funding for Homeland Security over Obama's controversial immigration executive order that gave temporary legal status to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants.
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The debate has put Democrats and Republicans at odds as they face a Feb. 27 deadline for Homeland Security funding. The House passed a bill that excludes Obama's immigration funding, but the measure stalled in the Senate as Democrats insisted on a clean bill.
"I would say break the funding for Homeland Security up into parcels. Don't present it as a whole bill. That makes it much more difficult for [Obama] to stand in the way. And, if he does stand in the way, particularly things that are vital to the security of this country, then we can start talking about treason," Carson said Monday. "If things are done to the contrary to the security of this country, whoever does them is guilty of treason."
If Congress was not able to produce a bill by the deadline, lawmakers risked a shutdown of the department. Carson said Republicans would get the blame "no matter what," so they might as well "get something out of it."
"Let's stand up. Let's have some spine. One of the reasons that so many people have tuned out is because they don't believe that there's anybody who represents them. They think that people always back down. We have to stop doing that," he said.
Carson said he was "extraordinarily concerned" about the terrorism taking place in the Middle East by the militant extremist group the Islamic State (ISIS), adding there was a "tremendous leadership void" in the White House.
It was "extraordinarily immature" for Obama to compare putting boots on the ground in Iraq to fight against ISIS with the American troops sent to fight against former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the Iraq War, Carson said, adding the U.S. had two choices to respond to the terror threat.
"ISIS is a group that really wants to destroy us. They want to destroy our way of life. And, we have two choices. We can sit back and wait for them, or we can use the resources that we have to destroy them," he said.
If he were president, Carson said he would "certainly be willing to listen to my military advisers" on how to combat ISIS, adding the current approach may have too much focus on what was politically correct.
"There is no such thing as a politically correct war. Our troops have to understand that if they go in and they fight, that they're not going to be prosecuted when they come back here — that we're not going to have some bunch of people saying you did this, and you shouldn't have done this, because it's not the way you fight a war. And, we have to give them esprit de corps, and they have to know that we have their backs," he said.
The wording of Obama's request to Congress for the Authorization for Use of Military Force was "gobbledygook" and should be written "at a level that can be understood by an eighth-grader," he said.
"[It shouldn't be] something that you need a gaggle of constitutional lawyers to interpret, because it leaves it open to too many different interpretations. And, to me, it says that they don't really know what they're talking about," he said.
In a separate interview on "The Steve Malzberg Show," Carson said the president should be "standing up for America and for American values" when it comes to fighting terror groups like ISIS.
"The prime minister of Australia a few years ago did that. He stood up and said 'Look, we're not against anybody, certainly you can come to Australia to live, but if you're going to live here, you're going to live like we do, you're going to accept our values and our rules and if you don't like them, you don't have to come here,'" Carson said.
"That's a perfectly reasonable thing. They're not going to change all of their values for us and there is such a thing as American values."
On another issue, Carson questioned James Comey’s recent speech on police and race relations, in which the FBI director said everyone is a bit racist.
"Does everyone have biases because of the way they were raised, identification and politics? It wouldn't surprise me, but we have the ability as human beings with these big frontal lobes of ours to process information correctly," Carson said.
"One of the reasons, for instance, I don't talk about race very often … [is] because I'm a neurosurgeon. When I take someone to the operating room and I cut their head open, I'm operating on a thing that makes that person who they are.
"The skin doesn't make them who they are, the hair doesn't make them who they are and the nose doesn't make them who they are. Why do people have to be so superficial? They don't have to control you. You have the ability to control."
On his possible candidacy for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Carson said he was still "evaluating" a run and wants to make sure an "adequate amount of support is there before we make all the appropriate announcements." He expects to reach a decision in May.
"I am certainly talking to a lot people putting together infrastructure and if I declare in May, we will be up and ready to go," he told Steve Malzberg.
Carson is also author of the new book, "You Have a Brain: A Teen's Guide to Think Big,"
written with Gregg Lewis and Deborah Shaw Lewis, and published by Zondervan.
"We have to get them to learn to think for themselves, to understand that the person who has the most to do with your life is you, that you're not a victim as long as you have the ability to extract information from the past and the present, process it and project it into the future," Carson said.
"You can take actions that will actually control what's going to happen to you … I would go so far as to say that someone who thinks the right way, you can put them in virtually any circumstance and they will emerge victorious. You can take somebody who thinks the wrong way, put them in any circumstance and they will devolve into something bad."
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