Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has so far successfully translated his fame as a world-renowned neurosurgeon to politics, but the biggest challenge he faces is trying to "convince Republicans that he can take on Hillary Clinton," political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax TV
"You're asking someone who's never been around a heavyweight boxing match to get into the ring with Muhammad Ali," Morris, who served in the Bill Clinton administration, told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. "There is nobody that has more experience at doing this than Hillary.
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"All of the debates she had while running for Senate, running for president, and all the primaries and now again," he added. "It's scary to think of somebody who has never been around, been fighting for a round, to be in that match.
"He has to convince people that he can hold his own — and that's the big obstacle."
Carson's soft-spoken, easygoing style could prove daunting for a White House run, Morris said as he reflected on Arizona Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential race.
"It didn't work with McCain. You're always sort of wanting to turn up the volume when he was speaking," Morris said. "I don't think it's going to be an effective approach. He's got to be much more forceful and much more dynamic.
"Politics is its own occupation — and I don't think I could do neurosurgery, and it takes some adjustment of skills to do politics.
"Dr. Carson's approach is a very good one in a vacuum, but when it comes to fighting someone and going head-to-head, toe-to-toe, that's harder — and that kind of a low-key approach sometimes will get run over by a truck," Morris said.
But there's another reality that could work against Carson: President Barack Obama.
"We all have in the back of our minds have Obama, who had almost no experience, more than Carson, but not much — and look at how ineptly he's governed," he told Hayworth.
"I'm just concerned about bringing someone in who's got nothing, doesn't know anything about the process."
Throughout the campaign trail, Carson has noted the pressure involved in separating conjoined twins and other sensitive pediatric operations around the world during his nearly four decades as a physician, but politics requires a different set of skills, Morris cautioned.
"What's important here is the give and take, because there's always a subtext going on. One is who's wining the debate, who's making the points. The other is who's a strong and forceful leader?
"That's the one strength that Hillary has — and going against Carson without Carson being more aggressive is going to be difficult to watch," Morris said.
The analyst's advice to Carson: distinguish himself from other Republican candidates.
"It is important that Carson takes one or two issues, preferably issues where he disagrees with the other Republicans," Morris told Hayworth. "Maybe it's free trade fast-track deal, maybe the NSA reform bill that just passed — maybe he wants to go further.
"It's important that he takes a political issue and use it to define his advocacy, his strength, and his position. Because you can't run for president just on a resume."
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