Physician Ben Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate who has captured the imagination of the conservative base, favorably compared the terrorist group ISIS to the founding fathers of the United States. Carson praised ISIS for being “willing to die” for their beliefs, just like America’s founders, and not compromising for “the sake of political correctness.” He said that while ISIS had the “wrong philosophy,” Americans could learn from their example.
Carson made the comments at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee.
The chair of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, defended Carson’s remarks. Priebus told NBC News, “I didn’t think anything odd of it. I think he was making a point…” Priebus later praised Carson’s remarks on Twitter:
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) January 16, 2015
Carson, who is widely expected to announce a campaign for president, performs well in early Republican primary polls. In the most recent CNN poll, he finished 3rd, behind Jeb Bush and Chris Christie but ahead of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and other prominent potential candidates.
Carson preemptively blamed the media for any controversy his remarks might create, telling the gathering of Republicans that journalists were trying to create a “craziness narrative.”