Ben Carson stepped onto a historically black college campus here and argued that the attacks his campaign faces resemble an effort to divide slaves.
Describing claims that he’d eliminate government programs as a “total lie,” he said, “It’s a typical tactic people use in order to drive wedges … It’s the same kind of wedge that’s been driven particularly in the black community in this country for hundreds of years.”
“Back during the time of slavery, they’d tell the people in the house, you’re better than the ones in the yard,” he told an audience of predominantly black students at South Carolina State University. “If they could keep them divided and at each other’s throats, you would never have to worry about the strength of that community overcoming the masters. That very same thing is going on today.”
Carson said the goal of those criticizing him is to prevent “black people who are conservatives, liberals, working together to solve the problems.”
Carson’s comments came a day after arguing during a televised CNN Town Hall that attempts to use big government programs to help the poor –FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs — have largely failed. He cites increased poverty, incarceration and stagnant wages among his evidence.
They also came after he foreshadowed a concerted effort to win over black voters here and in other southern states. Though African Americans make up a small portion of the Republican electorate, the state has an open primary – and Carson told reporters Wednesday he’s hopeful to win votes form black Democrats. The strategy may also come into play should he remain in the race through March 1, when a slew of southern states with large black populations go to the polls.
Carson didn’t appear to find much refuge in the crowd. A questioner who pleaded with Carson to stop attacking President Barack Obama drew the loudest applause of the event – though Carson drew applause too when he answered that he doesn’t attack Obama or his Republican rivals.
“You’re not gonna get me engaged in a lot of back and forth fisticuffs,” he said.
Source: Politico | KYLE CHENEY