GOP presidential candidate Ben CarsonBen CarsonRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Government indoctrination, whether 'critical' or 'patriotic,' is wrong MORE said on Friday that Congress must stand its ground against President Obama and end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Congress needs to call his bluff on that,” he said during the Heritage Action Presidential Forum in Greenville, S.C.
“Congress has all sorts of tools for dealing with that,” Carson said. “They can defund everything. They can defund his breakfast.”
The House on Friday voted to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood after weeks of debate over its use of fetal tissue. But the measure is not expected to pass the Senate, and would be vetoed by President Obama.
House conservatives are demanding that a measure to fund the government not include money for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions. That could set up a showdown with Democrats that could force the government to shut down on Oct. 1.
Carson said on Friday that Planned Parenthood’s medical practices involving fetal tissue are reprehensible given the sanctity of pre-natal life.
“My entire professional career dealt with trying to save children and give them the best possible quality of life,” he said of why he opposes federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Carson then criticized liberals for turning the debate into an issue of women’s healthcare rather than fetal tissue usage.
“They’re trying to divide us,” he said of the left. “They want us to think there’s a war on women and economic wars and income wars and racial wars and religious wars.”
Carson also charged that Obama is mistaken that tighter security is impossible along America’s borders.
“We can absolutely seal our borders,” the retired neurosurgeon said. “There’s no question about it.”
“All we have to do is look at what’s been done before,” Carson said.
Carson then backed a guest worker program for immigrants in the country illegally, letting them work in low-skill jobs for temporary residence.
He said on Friday that further illegal immigration is a bigger danger than the undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
“It’s not just people from Mexico and Honduras we are worried about,” Carson said. “It’s radical Islamic terrorists too.”
“We have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Carson’s remarks on Friday came on his 68th birthday. The former doctor admitted that afternoon he never initially desired the presidency.
“This is not something that was on my bucket list and that I was looking to do,” Carson said after listeners serenaded him with “Happy Birthday.”
“We are by far the most exceptional nation and our job is to make sure we remain an exceptional nation,” he added of his rationale for launching an Oval Office bid.
Carson’s appearance in Greenville Friday afternoon marks a major play for southern conservatives. It also follows his performance in Wednesday night’s second main-stage televised GOP debate, in Simi Valley, Calif.
Carson currently ranks second out of 16 candidates, with 20 percent, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of national polls.
Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential pack with 30.5 percent, but was notably absent from Heritage Action’s forum on Friday.