Dr. Ben Carson, the Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon praised by conservatives for his fearless speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, said the White House repeatedly asked for advance copies of his speech, The Hill reported Wednesday. But his message was clear.
“I told them that I don’t have an advance copy because I don’t write out my speeches and I don’t use teleprompters,” he said. Dr. Carson told The Hill that the White House “asked more than once.”
“I gave them the [Biblical] texts around which the remarks would be framed,” he said. “I said read those texts, the remarks will be framed around those … that should have told them something,” he added.
Conservatives rallied around Dr. Carson after the speech, and a YouTube video of his remarks has been viewed over 2 million times.
The White House has not criticized him for his comments, but some — like Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) — said his speech was too political for a religious event like a prayer breakfast.
But Carson disagreed.
“I don’t think it was particularly political,” he told ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “You know, I’m a physician. I like to diagnose things. And, you know, I’ve diagnosed some pretty, pretty significant issues that I think a lot of people resonate with.”
The 61-year-old surgeon told The Hill that after he sat down, Joe Biden, who usually is never at a loss for words, had very little to say.
“Nice being with you,” he recalled Biden saying later.
He also said that Obama shook his hand and said he appreciated him being there.
Dr. Carson is slated to be a featured speaker at CPAC 2013 starting on March 14.
“Dr. Ben Carson represents the optimism and hope of the future of the conservative movement, while at the same time he articulates the deep fiscal and social challenges that our Nation faces,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas.
Video of Dr. Carson’s speech can be seen here.
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