WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Potential 2016 presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson ridiculed President Barack Obama as selling the American public “a lie” and defended a series of past controversial statements in a profile piece illustrating the rise of the Tea Party favorite.
In a wide-ranging political profile for GQ Magazine’s April 2015 issue, the likely Republican presidential candidate derides Obama as a “psychopath” and makes clear he has no intention of toning down his tough rhetoric in the national spotlight.
Carson’s comment came in an exchange with his chief adviser and “unofficial image-maker” as the two reportedly watched Obama’s sixth State of the Union address earlier this year. Responding to Armstrong Williams’ comment that Obama looked “clean and elegant” during the speech, Carson replied, “Like most psychopaths. That’s why they’re successful. That’s the way they look. They all look great.”
“He’s trying to sell what he thinks is not true!” Carson reportedly told Williams. “He’s sitting there saying, ‘These Americans are so stupid I can tell them anything.'”
The retired brain surgeon’s blunt comments included his belief that black voters aren’t aware of Obama’s policies and his view of himself as a political outsider who’s only a Republican because he’s running for office.
“If I weren’t thinking about running for office, I would remain an independent,” Carson told GQ. He described his journey from being a “radical, wild-eyed, left-wing Democrat” to the GOP during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, before becoming an independent in protest of adulterous Republicans’ outrage and impeachment of Bill Clinton.
A large portion of the GQ piece features Carson on a “fact-finding mission” to Israel in February. Having never held an elected office or served in the military, Carson said he’s working to beef up his foreign policy credentials. Speaking with a tour guide about the Israeli government, Carson remarks, “It sounds complex… Why don’t they just adopt the system we have?”
At the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, GQ’s Jason Zengerle asked Carson if he has any regrets about his numerous comparisons between the U.S. and Nazi Germany. But Carson “refused to give any ground” on the issue. Asked again if he would reconsider his analogy, Carson responded. “Not at all, it makes it even stronger.”