Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson has become an unlikely frontrunner in the GOP presidential primary, leading recent polls in Iowa and surpassing all of the other Republican candidates’ recent fundraising totals.
Though he has never held political office, his short time in the spotlight has given him plenty of opportunity to make controversial and often factually incorrect statements. In May, ThinkProgress highlighted seven ridiculous things that Ben Carson believes. But in the past six months, Carson has come up with even more incendiary remarks and comparisons, which seem to only help his campaign.
Here are 13 arguments that Carson has made during his political career:
Women who get abortions are like slaveholders
On NBC’s Meet the Press in October, Carson compared women who terminate their unwanted pregnancies to slaveowners who “thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave.”
He went on to call for an outlaw of abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. “I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way,” he said.
Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery
Carson’s abortion comments were just the latest in a series of arguments he has made comparing things to slavery. Back in 2013, when Carson was still gaining recognition in the Republican Party, he said in a speech that “Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
“And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care,” he added. “It was about control.”
‘Hitler’ could happen in the U.S. today
Similarly, Carson has made a series of comments invoking Nazi Germany since launching his campaign. In September, he said at a campaign event that a Nazi-like force could come to power in the United States.
“If you go back and look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech,” he said, although he refused to outright say he was referring to President Obama.
Jews could have prevented the Holocaust if they had guns
In an interview with CNN in October, Carson blamed the Holocaust on the fact that Nazis took guns away from the Jewish people. “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said. “There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
When pressed about why he repeatedly uses Nazi metaphors, Carson blamed the media for stirring controversy, saying that he’s heard “from many people in the Jewish community, including rabbis, who said, ‘You’re spot on. You are exactly right.’”
College campuses should be monitored for liberal political speech
On Glenn Beck’s radio program in October, Carson advocated for the censorship of “extreme political bias” on college campuses, saying the Department of Education should “monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.”
The next day, he clarified during a different conservative radio program that his plan wouldn’t hurt conservatives. When host Dana Loesch asked if “the pendulum would swing the other way and we would see sort of like monitoring of political speech for conservatives,” Carson assured her that it would not. “I think we would have to put in very strict guidelines for the way that that was done,” he said.
Muslims should be disqualified from the presidency
During an interview on Meet the Press in September, Carson now infamously said that a Muslim could not become the president of the United States. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” he said. “I absolutely would not agree with that.”
Instead of apologizing, Carson went on to explain his remarks. In order for a Muslim to become president, he said, “you have to reject the tenets of Islam.”
There’s a war on ‘what’s inside of women’
During a campaign stop this summer, Carson denied the argument used to describe the Republican Party’s policies that restrict women’s rights.
“There is no war on women,” he said. “There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.”
Being gay is a choice because prison turns people gay
Carson said in a CNN interview in March that homosexuality is a choice, citing people who “go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay” as proof. He later attempted to apologize for the remarks in which he addressed those who were offended, but reinforced his belief that sexual orientation is chosen.
Carson has also called marriage equality a “Marxist plot,” described marriage equality supporters as “enemies of America,” and compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, another statement that led him to similarly “apologize” for his “poorly chosen words.”
There’s no such thing as a war crime
Carson also said earlier this year that the U.S. should not hesitate to send troops to defeat the Islamic State and should not fear prosecution for any of its actions abroad. In the Fox News interview, he suggested that the military should not be subject to any war crimes law.
“If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war,” he said. “Other than that, we have to win.”
Obama is depressing the economy to keep people on welfare
After appearing on The View last year and saying that Americans have become dependent on welfare, Carson elaborated on Fox News. “Do you think that people who are on welfare want to be on welfare?” Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked him.
“I think some people have that as a way of life,” Carson responded, later adding that “perhaps some of the things that are going on right now which could be easily remedied are not being remedied in order to keep the economy depressed because there would be no appetite for many of the social programs if people were doing well.”
Obama signed immigration reform to bring in government-dependent voters
After speaking out about welfare, Carson said in an interview months later that Obama’s executive action on immigration was part of a “nefarious agenda” to bring new voters into the United States who will be dependent on government.
“Is he just trying to instead of get out the vote, bring in the vote?” former Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth asked Carson. “Is this all designed to have new voters — despite the fact he claims they’re not going to get citizenship — is the long-term goal to bring in a new class of voters dependent on government?”
“Of course it is,” Carson replied.
Congress should be able to remove judges for voting for marriage equality
In an interview with a conservative radio host earlier this year, Carson said it was “unconstitutional” that judges have ruled in favor of equality despite statewide ballot initiatives that resulted in different outcomes. Carson said that when federal judges make rulings like this, “our Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove them.”
Anarchy could cancel the 2016 election
Carson warned in an interview in 2014 that if we “continue down this pathway that we are going down,” referring to “this pathway where everything is framed in a political sense and our representatives are not working for the people, they’re working for their party,” then the anarchy could lead to the 2016 election being called off. He claimed that the growing national debt, ISIS and the then-Democratic controlled U.S. Senate’s refusal to consider legislation passed by the Republican House of Representatives all pointed toward the idea that the country is headed toward anarchy.
If Carson’s prediction proved to be true, he said, Obama could declare martial law and the 2016 election would not occur.
Note: This post is an updated version of a post previously published by ThinkProgress when Carson launched his campaign in May 2015.