Dr. Ben Carson Answers Objections to His Perceived Lack of Experience — A Year in Advance

Dr. Ben Carson, answering questions about his qualifications, experience and goals at the North Texas Presidential Forum, October 18, 2015.

By Alan Eason Published on December 5, 2016

Ever since it was announced Monday that Dr. Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s nominee to head up HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) there has been a wave of criticism from those who claim that he does not have the executive experience required to handle a Cabinet-level job. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi went so far as to call Carson “a disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.” 

What experience does he have? And what new ideas might he bring to the office?

I was reporting for The Stream at a presidential forum in Dallas in 2015 where then-presidential-candidate Carson answered questions about his executive qualifications (for the presidency at that time). He also spoke powerfully to the problems of the inner cities and spoke about reconciliation efforts he had been involved with in Ferguson, Missouri — as a private citizen.

Here are two video clips from that forum where Carson shares his executive experience and his ideas for helping the inner cities: 

[This clip starts at 8:27 and goes through 10:28]

Carson describes his executive experience including the award-winning organizations he built, the teams he assembled, the boards he has sat on and chaired, and above all, his philosophy of managing “very very complex” projects.  As Carson notes to much laughter, “I know everybody thinks that what they do is the most complex thing — but I can tell you — it ain’t brain surgery.”

[This clip starts at 1:00 and goes through 2:51] 

In this clip, Carson presents his ideas about how to deal with inner city violence and how to help inner-city inhabitants become successful in the long run. It’s a subject he knows first hand. Remember, Dr. Carson grew up partially in public housing himself, in a single-parent family where his mother, who was functionally illiterate, had to work three jobs to support him and his brother and get them educated as best she could. 

His rise from inner city poverty to a Yale scholarship to director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital by the age of 33 gives him insight into the position he will assume pending Senate confirmation.

@RealBenCarson is a great choice for @HUDgov., Paul Ryan said in a tweet. “A shining example of overcoming poverty, he will put focus on dignity rather than dependence.”

“I am honored to accept the opportunity to serve our country in the Trump administration,” Carson himself said in statement released Monday. “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need. We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
Forget Fools
James Randall Robison
More from The Stream
Connect with Us