Veteran pollster John Zogby says Dr. Ben Carson's statement that Muslims should not serve in the White House is "reprehensible" and flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution.
"He's entitled to his own opinions. However, no one has polled American Muslims more than I have over the last 20 years. American Muslims, like all other groups, are Americans first," Zogby said Monday to J.D. Hayworth, host of "Newsmax Prime" on Newsmax TV.
"They're Boy Scout leaders, they're university students, they're doctors and lawyers and mechanics and so on and to single out and entire religious group is reprehensible.
"It's also unconstitutional to deny anyone the right to run for the presidency of the United States."
Story continues below video.
Watch Newsmax TV on DirecTV Ch. 349, DISH Ch. 223 and Verizon FiOS Ch. 115. Get Newsmax TV on your cable system — Click Here Now
On Sunday's NBC program "Meet the Press," Carson said: "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that. If [a president's faith is] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter."
comment triggered the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a major U.S. Islamic group, to demand Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon and political novice, drop out of the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
"Mr. Ben Carson is wrong today to assume and say that American Muslims should not be president of the U.S.," said Nihad Awad, CAIR’s national executive director.
Zogby, CEO of Zogby Analytics and author of "First Globals: Understanding, Managing, & Unleashing Our Millennial Generation,"
written with Joan Snyder Kuhl, believes Carson can survive, however.
"I don't know that his views are necessary out of the mainstream of a certain core of Republican voters. Right now the question is can and will anyone catch up with Donald Trump?" he said.
Zogby told Lynch he is releasing a new poll on Monday showing billionaire developer Trump widening his lead over Carson, who is in second place.
They are followed by former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in third place.
Appearing with Zogby, was Craig Shirley — president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs and author of "Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan"
— who believes Trump is evolving into a real conservative.
"Obviously, he didn't start out there 20 years ago, he said as much. He said he expressed admiration for Hillary and for the Democratic Party. But like a lot of people he's moved from the left to the right," Shirley said.
"And we're seeing actually, in real time, him coming to understand what American conservatism is about, which is about the individual, about the privacy, and dignity of the individual.
"I don't think he's there yet but it's interesting to watch him in his rhetoric and his language change as he comes to understand it."
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.