Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson made an appearance in Carson City Wednesday to discuss his political platform in a “Meet Ben Carson” rally.
Nearly 400 showed up to support Carson for his hour-long speech held at the Carson City Community Center.
Diana Kaher said that she and her husband had been supporters of Carson for two years now and jumped at the chance to be able to volunteer at the event.
“We were excited when we got word that he was coming to Carson,” Kaher said. “He seems to be the most consistent with his beliefs; he’s not one to put his finger in the air and say ‘well this must be what the people want today.’”
Carson started by joking about how he was hoping that coming to Nevada would be warmer and about sharing his name with the capital city.
“It isn’t as warm as I had hoped, but it is warm hearts, that’s what’s important,” Carson said. “It is just good to be in Carson City.”
Carson said he often is asked why he decided to run for president instead of enjoying retirement from his neurosurgeon career.
“It is because of the young people,” Carson said. “I am not sure I could have enjoyed retirement because of the things they face (in our country). Our country is turning into something very different than what I had. It is still great, but it is transforming and it isn’t a transformation that I am comfortable with.”
Much of his speech centered around his platform of getting America back to its original hardworking state and the economic state.
He said Americans are in a state where they are just asking, “what can you do for me?” Carson said it is uneducated and not knowledgeable people who believe that the economy is in decent standing.
One example Carson used was the unemployment rate; he said people think the economy is fine because the unemployment rate is low, but he said, that people need to look at the labor participant rate instead that tells a different story.
“Knowledge and education, being informed is what makes a difference in people’s lives,” Carson said. “Uninformed people let the wool get pulled over there eyes (with issues such as the economy).”
He proposed solutions to decrease the national debt, including a tax hiatus that would incentivize businesses to bring work back from overseas and to reassess systems such as welfare and other poverty regulations.
“To promote the general welfare of the country doesn’t mean putting everyone on Welfare,” Carson said.
Carson also talked about foreign policy, which was the focus of the Republican debate Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
“One thing that concerns me most for our future and our children’s future is our failure to lead on a global stage,” Carson said. “Our foreign policy now seems to be let’s wait until someone else does something then react.”
He said America’s inaction has “spawned global radical and Islamic movement.” Carson said Jihad wants to kill Americans and destroy what Americans stand and that they think it can be accomplished because people are so worried about political correctness that they aren’t paying attention.
“We have been so beat down by progressives that we don’t speak up because we are afraid someone is going to call us a name,” Carson said. “We have to get over it, we have to have courage. We can’t be the land of the free if we aren’t the land of the brave.”
Throughout the speech, he said he considered himself a “one-term” president, later clarifying he would be able to accomplish all that he feels needs to be done in his first term.
Carson said he was confident about his chances in Nevada because he has been throughout the Silver State campaigning.
“I think you have to come,” Carson said. “And I have been here several times, enough to know the issues that are important to Nevadans.”
Carson said he knows issues such as land rights and Yucca Mountain are important to Nevadans.
Clarification: Bill Johnston, Nevada Rural Counties director for Ben Carson for President-, said Thursday that the Secret Service estimated 450 people were in the building.