CEDARVILLE — Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson made a campaign stop at Cedarville University Tuesday afternoon as part of a chain of such stops in the Miami Valley. Carson spoke to a crowd of about 2,500 on a variety of topics, including health care, the current political culture, government spending and his personal background.
Carson addressed the country’s growing national debt and pointed to Italy as an example of a country that recently addressed similar problems by raising the country’s retirement age and reducing benefits for retirees.
“We could put ourselves back on the right course too, but it will require some sacrifice,” he said. “That’s a word that we used to understand in this country and we seem to have forgotten. It’s all about me and what makes me feel good.”
Carson had harsh criticism for those he labeled as “secular progressives” on the topic of political correctness: “We’re gonna have to get over that,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, the secular progressives, they don’t even care whether you agree with them as long as you sit down and shut up. That’s all they want. They do not want you to express yourselves.”
Carson, a retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, decried recently publicized Planned Parenthood videos in talking about his pro-life stance.
“My entire professional career has been spent trying to save the lives of babies and young children and sometimes operating all night long and even operating on babies while they were still in their mother’s womb,” he said. “I’ve been privileged to meet some of those little babies now that they’ve grown up and become productive citizens. I tell you, there is no one who will ever convince me that they were not worth saving.”
Carson said he believes strongly that marriage is between “one man and one woman,” but also said that “people should be able to believe as they want.”
“I wouldn’t try to legislate how people live,” he said. “Any two adults can do anything they want as far as I’m concerned, as long as it’s not infringing on somebody else’s rights.”
A RealClearPolitics polling average for the Aug. 31-Sept. 19 time period put Carson in second place for the GOP nomination (at 18.8 percent), about 10 percentage points behind front-runner Donald Trump (28.5 percent).
Carson also held a rally in Sharonville earlier in the day and completed his time in the region at a rally at the University of Dayton Tuesday evening.