EXCLUSIVE: Why Ben Carson Believes He's Your Best Choice for President
News Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Why Ben Carson Believes He’s Your Best Choice for President

Ben Carson prepares for primaries and caucuses with a retooled campaign and new attitude.
Carson responds to Dingle's questions on race and police reform.

What is the next plank on your agenda?

The other big thing is education. Education is a great divide in our country. It doesn’t matter what your economic or racial background is, you get a good education, you write your own ticket. Look at what we found, the people who are best educated are home-schoolers, next best private schoolers, next best charter schoolers, least best public schoolers. Where are most of our people? In public schools. We need to have a school choice program. We need to have a voucher program that needs to be national in scope because that’s the only thing that will force the public schools to get better.

Why not embrace national education standards so that all students gain the same level of education so that they can be better prepared for the 21st century workforce?

There’s nothing wrong with having standards, but you have to look at data. There’re two ways to do things. You can do it based on ideology and say, “These are the best ideals now let’s do things based on that,” or you can do it based on data. What has been found is that when you make decisions based on evidence, they tend to be much more solid decisions and much more successful than when you base them on ideology. It’s largely ideological to say, “Let’s just have a national standard and let’s have everybody live up to it,” and you know, we’ll have this big bureaucracy with that. We’ll make things better for everybody.” It sounds nice, but it doesn’t work.

There have been charter schools that have underperformed public schools.

I agree, but remember when people have choice; they’re not stuck in those schools. They can go to the one that does perform well, which will force the one that is not performing well either to go out of business or to get up to speed.

A question dealing with terrorism: There’s a terrorist attack on the nation and the Dow drops 1,000 points. As president, what would you do?

First of all, I would deal with the terrorist attack. The Dow going down 1,000 points, that’s a secondary issue as far as I’m concerned. First of all, you need to assure that the situation is under control and you need to reassure the American people that appropriate steps are being taken to deal with it. That will have a secondary ameliorating effect on the business environment and on the Dow. You always want to prioritize.

We’ve witnessed an alarming number of deaths of African Americans at the hands of police officers. What is your policy regarding police reform?

[Black Activists Demand Chicago Mayor and Police Superintendent Removal]

Clearly there have been some problems with rogue policemen and policemen who do not act professionally. That’s not the vast majority of them. Nevertheless, the whole concept of the body cameras is an excellent concept. I think that even better concept is introducing police into the community early and on a regular basis.

I was talking to a policeman in Baltimore and he makes it his duty to go to a certain neighborhood every day and he walks through the neighborhood. Everybody knows him. Everybody is always inviting him in, the people trust him. They call him. When those relationships are not there, that’s when you get the distrust. It’s frequently the distrust that creates the problem.

When there’s a shooting similar to the tragedy involving Tamir Rice, would a Carson administration Justice Department investigate those cases?

[The Man Who Killed Tamir Rice]

Certainly. If there’s blatant … Like what happened in Chicago with the McDonald case. I mean that’s absurd and obviously you want to make sure that things like that are appropriately dealt with. I am every bit also concerned about the high murder rates that are occurring in our streets. I don’t want to just concentrate on one thing. When we talk about for instance black lives matter, I’d add one word to that, and that’s all…all black lives matter including the No. 1 cause of death in the black community, abortion.