Ben Carson offered a lengthy Facebook explanation of why his lack of government experience would not be a hindrance should he win the presidency, as Miami Herald reporters found him stumped by questions about Cuba policy.
“I do not have political experience,” the retired neurosurgeon wrote. “I have a life journey.”
The Herald interviewed the Republican presidential front-runner Wednesday. It reported “Carson appeared stumped by questions about the so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which allows Cubans who reach U.S. soil to remain here, and about the Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows Cubans who arrive in the U.S. to apply for legal residency after 366 days.”
Carson was asked about the wet-foot, dry-foot policy and said, “You're going to have to explain to me exactly what you mean by that," adding "I have to admit that I don't know a great deal about that, and I don't really like to comment until I've had a chance to study the issue from both sides."
He added he had not been “fully briefed” on what the Cuban Adjustment Act was. After a reporter explained the outline, he said it sounded “perfectly reasonable.”
He was then told about abuses to the policy by Cubans who obtain residency and claim federal government benefits, then make trips back to the island.
"I think the way to fix that is not so much to abolish the act, but dealing with the specific area where the abuse is," Carson said, noting that Medicare and Medicaid fraud is "huge -- half a trillion dollars."
"We definitely need to focus on that," he said.
Late Wednesday night, Carson wrote a lengthy Facebook post discussing his lack of government experience.
“You are absolutely right. I have no political experience. The current Members of Congress have a combined 8,700 years of political experience. Are we sure political experience is what we need. Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience. What they had was a deep belief that freedom is a gift from God,” he said.
He noted his experience is “very different than what we have come to expect. I grew up poor. I know what it is like to be homeless and hungry. I know the pain of poverty. I also know that education and a mother’s love can be the path out of dire poverty. I know what it is like to see water fountains you are not allowed to drink out of because of your skin color. I also know that once you peal back the skin, the brain is the same no matter what your skin color or continent you live on. I know that victimhood is a trap. I know that it is our Christian responsibility to offer those less fortunate a hand up. I know my faith is strong and my ego is small.”
Carson maintained “I do not have political experience, I have a life journey. A journey that not only made it possible for me to relate to so many different people, but also one where time and time again I was told I would fail, only to succeed.”