Presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Ben Carson said Sunday that remarks about Fox News host Megyn Kelly from his fellow candidate, Donald Trump, are "not the kinds of things that I would engage in."
Carson said he didn't hear the comments himself, but made the judgment from hearing about them. Trump has gone after Kelly for asking him about disparaging remarks he has made about other women during the GOP debate. He said over the weekend, "There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever," which prompted conservative commentator Erick Erickson to withdraw his invitation to appear at his RedState Gathering in Atlanta Saturday.
Asked by "Face the Nation" host John Dickerson whether people were merely being too politically correct, Carson said, "I think that may be a difference between political correctness and, you know, courteous speech."
"What bothers me is when people say, you know, 'You can't say this word, you can't say this phrase, you can't even think that, you can't express this.' And it's very difficult for people to have an honest conversation if they can't express themselves. But in no way do I advocate, you know, saying mean things about people. That has nothing to do with political correctness," Carson said.
Carson was also onstage during the debate last Thursday, and while he has made far less of a splash than Trump, he was the candidate with the second-most searches on Google during the event. He predicted that half the audience didn't know who he was, and said, "I'm just sure they were saying, 'Who is this guy? He actually makes a little bit of sense.'" He said his Facebook page has gotten 275,000 new likes since the debate.
Carson said his presence on social media is reflective of the way his campaign has been funded, with small donations from "hundreds of thousands of people."
"I personally will never go after billionaires and special interest groups' money. If people want to donate it will be because they love America and what we stand for," Carson said. His remarks could be interpreted as a knock on candidates like Jeb Bush who have raised millions from deep-pocketed donors.
Carson is also unique as the sole black candidate in the race, and he has gotten particular attention on social media for saying in his opening remarks, "When I take someone to the operating room I'm actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn't make them who they are, the hair doesn't make them who they are. And it's time for us to move beyond that."
Dickerson asked how that is possible when so many black Americans feel they are being targeted by police for the color of their skin.
"We have to change the conversation and we have to look for real solutions," Carson said. He said he has long believed that the police should be introduced to communities very early so that, "little Johnny's first encounter with a policeman is somebody who's playing catch with him, not somebody who's chasing him down an alley with a gun."
"When people know each other it makes all the difference in the world," he said.
But, he added, "We also need to concentrate on teaching values and principles to young men."
"When you talk about things like black lives matter I think, 'Absolutely they matter.' But we need to be worried about the fact that the most likely cause of death for a young black man in the inner city is homicide," Carson said. "And most of the homicides are not coming at the hands of the police."