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Ben Carson

Ben Carson served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Trump. An ethically conflicted extremist, Carson’s anti-abortion agenda coupled with his disdain for programs like Social Security and Medicare could help make Trump’s second term more dangerous than the first.

Ben Carson On Abortion

Carson Called To End Roe v. Wade

January 2022: Carson Joined Anti-Abortion Groups In Calling For Roe v. Wade To Be Fully Overturned

Carson Joined In Op-Ed Calling For Roe v. Wade To Be Overturned In The Supreme Court’s Ruling In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Saying It Would Constitute A “Critical Victory.” According to an op-ed from Ben Carson and others at the Daily Signal, “Soon—by this summer—the Supreme Court will decide Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case examining the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that protects unborn children after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. The high court’s ruling in the Dobbs case potentially could overturn Roe v. Wade. […] Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a critical victory, and one that would result from decades of hard work from the conservative legal and pro-life movements.” [Daily Signal, Ben Carson et al, 1/21/22

  • Authors On The Op-Ed Included Carson For The American Cornerstone Institute, Susan B. Anthony List, Conservative Partnership Institute, The Heritage Foundation, And The Family Research Council. According to an op-ed from Ben Carson and others at the Daily Signal, authors included Dr. Ben Carson for the American Cornerstone Institute, Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, Jim DeMint of the Conservative Partnership Institute, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Kevin Roberts of the Heritage Foundation. [Daily Signal, Ben Carson et al, 1/21/22

Carson Op-Ed: Courts Leaving Roe v. Wade In Place Would Be “Unmitigated Failure,” And Would Leave An “Unworkable Framework.” According to an op-ed from Ben Carson and others at the Daily Signal, “If the court leaves Roe in place while allowing the Mississippi law to stand, the contours of the new abortion regime in which Roe is undermined would provide new avenues to pursue life-affirming policies. It would still leave an unworkable framework in place, requiring continued efforts to fully correct a grave constitutional error. If the court relies on Roe to strike down the Mississippi law, it would be an unmitigated failure by a majority-conservative bench to faithfully interpret the Constitution. Indeed, anything less than overturning Roe is a failure at some level.” [Daily Signal, Ben Carson et al, 1/21/22]

Carson Supported Federal Legislation To Ban Abortion

2015: Carson Supported A Federal Abortion Ban

2015: Carson Called For Congress To Pass The So-Called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. According to Politico, “And in March of this year, several weeks before he announced for president, Carson took to Facebook to urge support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions at 20 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest, and when a woman’s life at risk. ‘Children are our most precious resource and our efforts to protect them should know no bounds,’ he wrote. ‘I urge our legislators in Congress to swiftly vote on the legislation known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It is legislation that values life which in the end is what we are here for.’” [Politico, 8/19/15]

  • The So-Called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Banned Abortions After The 20th Week Of Pregnancy. According to CNN, “When Republicans controlled the House, they passed The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, in 2012, 2015, and 2017.” [CNN, 4/23/23]

Carson Said He Would Allow Few Exceptions For An Abortion Ban

VIDEO: Carson Said He Would Allow Few Exceptions For An Abortion Ban And Would Not Allow Exceptions For Rape Or Incest. According to Carson in an interview via YouTube, “TODD: Do you want to see roe v wade overturned? CARSON: Ultimately I would love to see it overturned. TODD: And that means all abortions illegal or is there still an exception that you would have? CARSON: I’m a reasonable person and if people can come up with a reasonable explanation of why they would like to kill a baby I’ll listen. TODD: Life and health of the mother? CARSON: Again that’s an extraordinarily rare situation – but if in that very rare situation that occurred, I believe there’s room to discuss that. TODD: Rape and incest? Rape and incest I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way. And all you have to do is go and look up the many stories of people who have led very useful lives who were the result of rape or incest.” [Carson via YouTube, 10/26/15]

Ben Carson On Social Security & Medicare

Carson Wanted To End Social Security In Its Current Form

2015: Carson Called Social Security A “Ponzi Scheme”

VIDEO: 2015: Carson Said Social Security “Basically Is A Ponzi Scheme.” According to the Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference via YouTube, “QUESTION: So, the number one driver of our debt, however, are entitlements, which raise some harder questions. Social Security, things that people have come to depend on. We have a lot of people in our tent, younger people, who are watching this. What are you going to do about those things – what are you going to do about their future? CARSON: Well, let me just address one of them, because we can talk about all of them all day long. Social Security, which basically is a Ponzi Scheme.” [Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference via YouTube, 8/28/15

2015: Carson Wanted To Raise The Age For Social Security

2015: Carson Said He Wanted To “Raise The Age For Anybody Who Is Under The Age Of 55.” According to the Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference via YouTube, “CARSON: What we can do at that point is gradually start to raise the age for anybody who is under the age of 55.” [Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference via YouTube, 8/28/15]

Carson Wanted To End Medicare

2013: Carson Said He Wanted To Eliminate Medicare 

2013: Carson Said He Wanted To Eliminate Medicare. According to the New York Times, “Dr. Carson also advocates an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Most people could pay most of their medical bills through health savings accounts, he said in his office. He would eliminate Medicaid and Medicare, and for the poor, government would make the contributions to their health accounts.” [New York Times, 3/20/13]

Carson Wanted To Raise The Age For Medicare Eligibility To 70 And Beyond

Carson Called For Increasing The Eligibility Age For Medicare To 70. According to a Carson Campaign press release archived by the University of California Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project, “Dr. Carson’s plan also aims to save Medicaid and modernize Medicare (by gradually increasing the eligibility age to 70). These programs will be reformed, not eliminated. For Medicaid, the federal government would provide fixed-dollar support to the states, which must use the funds for insurance premium payments for beneficiaries. For Medicare, beneficiaries would receive a fixed contribution to buy the health insurance they actually want and need. The enrollees of both programs will receive HEA accounts and would be able to choose medical insurance plans like every other American. This will foster healthy competition among private insurance companies, which in turn would promote the expansion of health care options in the marketplace.” [Carson Campaign Release – UCSB Archive, 12/9/15]

Ben Carson And HUD Scandals

Carson Authorized His Wife To Order $31,000 In Taxpayer-Funded Office Furniture Amid Department Budget Cuts, Violating Federal Law To Do So

Under Carson, HUD Purchased Over $31,000 In Office Furniture During Department Budget Cuts

HUD Officials Spent $31,000 On Office Furniture During Cuts To Programs That Supported The Homeless, Elderly, And Poor. According to the New York Times, “Department of Housing and Urban Development officials spent $31,000 on a new dining room set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office in late 2017 — just as the White House circulated its plans to slash HUD’s programs for the homeless, elderly and poor, according to federal procurement records.” [New York Times, 2/27/18]

The Furniture Was Ordered Without Requesting Approval From The House Or Senate Appropriations Committees As Required By Law. According to the New York Times, “Department officials did not request approval from the House or Senate Appropriations Committees for the expenditure of $31,561, even though federal law requires congressional approval ‘to furnish or redecorate the office of a department head’ if the cost exceeds $5,000.” [New York Times, 2/27/18]

A Whistleblower Complaint Claimed That She Was Pressured To Break Federal Law And Was Demoted When She Refused To Comply With The Illegal Furniture Purchase

A Whistleblower Complaint Showed That Candy Carson Pressured Officials To Find The Money For The Expensive Furniture, “Even If It Meant Circumventing The Law.” According to the New York Times, “The purchase of the custom hardwood table, chairs and hutch came a month after a top agency staff member filed a whistle-blower complaint charging Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, with pressuring department officials to find money for the expensive redecoration of his offices, even if it meant circumventing the law.” [New York Times, 2/27/18]

A Whistleblower From HUD Said She Was Demoted After Resisting Candy Carson’s Demand For The New Furniture. According to the New York Times, “About a month before it was ordered, Helen G. Foster, a former top HUD official, filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel, a federal whistle-blower agency, claiming that she had been demoted and transferred after resisting Mrs. Carson’s attempts to get around the $5,000 redecoration law. The pressure began in January 2017, before Mr. Carson was even confirmed, when HUD’s interim secretary, Craig Clemmensen, told Mrs. Foster to help secure redecorating funds for Mrs. Carson, a frequent visitor to the department’s Washington headquarters who serves as an informal adviser to her husband, the complaint said.” [New York Times, 2/27/18]

Carson’s Family Was Inappropriately Involved In Official HUD Operations

Carson’s Son Was Heavily Involved In Official HUD Operations 

Carson Helped Organize HUD’s “Listening Tour”

Carson Had His Son Help Organize A HUD “Listening Tour” And Invited People He Had Potential Business Dealings With. According to the Washington Post, “Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson allowed his son to help organize an agency ‘listening tour’ in Baltimore last summer despite warnings from department lawyers that doing so risked violating federal ethics rules, according to internal documents and people familiar with the matter. Career officials and political appointees raised concerns days before the visit that Carson’s son, local businessman Ben Carson Jr., and daughter-in-law were inviting people with whom they potentially had business dealings, the documents show.” [Washington Post, 1/31/18]

Carson Jr. Connected His Personal Network With HUD Employees, Joined Official Conference Calls, And Copied His Wife On Official Emails. According to the Washington Post, “Carson Jr. put people he’d invited in touch with his father’s deputies, joined agency staff on official conference call about the listening tour and copied his wife on related email exchanges, according to emails.” [Washington Post, 1/31/18]

Carson’s Deputy General Counsel Urged Carson To Stop His Son’s Involvement In Official Events

HUD’s Deputy General Counsel Urged Carson Jr. Be Removed From HUD Events, Citing A Conflict Of Interest. According to the Washington Post, “’I expressed my concern that this gave the appearance that the Secretary may be using his position for his son’s private gain,’ Linda M. Cruciani, HUD’s deputy general counsel for operations, wrote in a July 6 memo, describing her reaction upon learning of Carson Jr.’s involvement from other staff members. The two-page memo, obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), details conference calls and meetings that Cruciani and her colleagues had with Carson, his son and other senior HUD officials to urge that Carson Jr. not be involved in the listening tour, an event intended to give the secretary a chance to see federally supported housing projects firsthand and to convey his policy vision to the public.” [Washington Post, 1/31/18]

Carson Jr. Continued To Attend Official HUD Events With His Father 

Carson Jr. Continued To Attend Official HUD Events. According to the Washington Post, “Carson Jr. has continued to attend official HUD events with his father and other elected officials, including during the secretary’s October trip to Baltimore’s Helping Up Mission, a faith-based group that helps men facing addiction and homelessness.” [Washington Post, 1/31/18]

Carson’s Wife And Daughter-In-Law Attended Official Meetings At HUD

Carson’s Wife And Daughter-In-Law Attended Official Meetings At HUD. According to the Washington Post, “The warnings highlight the extent to which Carson has relied on close family members since joining the Cabinet. His wife, Candy Carson, son Carson Jr. and daughter-in-law Merlynn Carson have attended official meetings, according to current and former HUD officials. Early last year, Candy Carson accompanied her husband around the building and to official meetings both inside and outside HUD, officials said.” [Washington Post, 1/31/18]

The Inspector General Opened An Investigation Into The Roles Carson’s Family Members Held At HUD

The Inspector General Opened An Investigation Into Carson’s Family Roles In HUD. According to CNN, “The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general is looking into the role HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s family has played at the agency, a spokesman told CNN. Carson called earlier this month for the inspector general to ‘review’ the role his family has played at the department after The Washington Post reported that HUD officials expressed ethics concerns about their role.” [CNN, 2/20/18]

HUD IG Said Carson “Could Have Done More To Avoid” The Appearance Of Conflicts With His Family

HUD IG: Carson “Could Have Done More To Avoid” The Appearance Of Conflicts In His Family’s Involvement At HUD. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General’s report titled Investigation into Alleged Misuse of Office by the Secretary for the Private Gain of a Relative, “Simply put, while the evidence does not establish that Secretary Carson misused his position for the ‘private gain’ of Carson Jr., the evidence does suggest that Secretary Carson could have done more to avoid ‘any actions creating the appearance’ that he was using his office for the private gain of relatives.” [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General’s report – Investigation into Alleged Misuse of Office by the Secretary for the Private Gain of a Relative, 9/29/20]

 

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