Ben Carson doesn’t think the United States should have a Muslim as president.
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate told NBC’s “Meet the Press’ Sunday.
Carson has shown strong appeal to Republican conservatives, particularly evangelical voters, surging to second place in polls in Iowa, the nation’s first caucus state.
He said Sunday that Islam is not compatible with the Constitution.
"If it's inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter,” he said.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump would not go that far. “I can say it's something that at some point could happen. We’ll see,” he told “Meet the Press.” “Would I be comfortable? I don't know if we have to address it right now.”
He added “some people have said it already happened.” Trump noted Obama has said he's a Christian, saying “I’m willing to take him at his word on that. I have no problem with that."
Last week, Trump ignited an uproar after a questioner at a New Hampshire campaign event said President Barack Obama was a Muslim not born in this country. He also said Muslims were a problem in this nation. Trump has frequently raised doubts about Obama’s birthplace. He did not correct the questioner.
Trump canceled a campaign appearance in South Carolina Friday. Saturday, he sent out tweets defending his New Hampshire appearance.
“If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!” Trump said.
In another tweet, he wrote, “Christians need support in our country (and around the world), their religious liberty is at stake! Obama has been horrible, I will be great.”
Carson said Sunday “I believe” Obama was born in this country and is a Christian. The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.