Join the debate

Jump in the Crossfire by using #Crossfire on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Jump in the Crossfire by using #Crossfire
on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

May 28th, 2014
09:09 PM ET

Is Ben Carson qualified to be President?

Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and a popular figure among conservatives who's considering a run for president, wouldn't say whether he's qualified to be commander in chief.

Appearing on CNN's "Crossfire” on Wednesday, Carson was asked by co-host Stephanie Cutter on the left whether he thinks he has what it takes to lead the country.

"Well, let me put it this way, I'm not sure that anybody is qualified to be the commander in chief by themselves," Carson said. Full story

Ben Carson defends Nazi comparison
Dr. Ben Carson defends his recent comments in comparing Nazi Germany to the power of protest in the U.S.

Posted by
Filed under: 2016 • Ben Carson • Debates • Foreign policy • Newt Gingrich • Obama • Stephanie Cutter • Ted Strickland
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Wow, the left-wing bigots are out strong today!

    June 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Ron

      I watched Don Lemons interview with Dr Ben Carson last night and can't find any reference to it on the CNN site this morning so I'll post my thoughts here. CNN's simpleminded soap opera attempts to box Dr Ben in did not work. This man is a neurosurgeon, a far cry from the typical self serving lawyer politician. Kudos also to Morgan Freeman for throwing your second attempt of the evening to play the race card back in Lemons face. His response can be extended to your continued attempts to discredit anyone that does not take a left wing viewpoint on things, it's Bull Shit.

      June 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  2. Vicki

    As usual republicans vilify President Obama who was a lawyer then a state Senator and eventually was elected as Senator in the federal government. He then was elected twice as our President. Ben Carson won't ever be president of this country. People with intelligence are not going to support any republicans who are against Social Security and Medicare. Now all they care about is privatizing as much as possible. So I will always support President Obama who fixed the economy after republicans ruined it.

    June 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • countingdown

      " So I will always support President Obama who fixed the economy after republicans ruined it.".

      Where have you been the last five plus years? The economy is still bad and BTW, because dems wanted to give affordable ( uhm, where have we heard that word before) housing to people who couldn't afford them. Mortgage, insurance, taxes, utilities, upkeep, repaired then kaboom!

      " People with intelligence are not going to support any republicans who are against Social Security and Medicare. Now all they care about is privatizing as much as possible"

      "In a new Cato study, "Still a Better Deal: Private Investment vs. Social Security," Cato Senior Fellow Michael Tanner demonstrates that actual investment returns over the past 40 years show that a system of private investment will, in fact, provide ** ({[significantly)}] ** higher rates of return than the current Social Security system."

      So, anyone who has worked for forty years would have more income from their investment of the same money paid into the social security system. Those who can invest separately do well. However, the working poor , don't have that option and are forced to rely solely on the social security system. The problem is government steals from these programs to fund social agendas but when jobs are vacant less money is coming in and SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, social security and medicare (remember the 700 billion taken from medicare to help fund obamacare) is in trouble. Our belief is that the generation just now entering the work force should be given the option ss or private investment. This adminstration should HAVE BEEN FOCUSING ON JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! Jobs give people independence, a sense of worth, responsibly for their own life.

      June 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  3. Jerry Okamura

    Ben Carlson is as qualified as a person who was a community organizer.

    May 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Dave


      June 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  4. keither

    Suddenly democrats are worried about qualifications? Did hell just freeze over?

    May 31, 2014 at 9:21 am | Reply
  5. bob

    you Obama supporters just keep blaming Bush,or the Republicans or space junk, open your damn eyes to this inept administration.....and yeah 95% per cent of blacks voted for obozo...hmmm if the shoe were on the other foot you'd be screaming racism at the top of your lungs.
    Plain and simple Obama sux!

    May 31, 2014 at 7:05 am | Reply
  6. Chad Harley

    CNN did not ask Barak Obama this question. so... Why are they asking Ben Carson?

    May 30, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      CNN and every major news network ask the question about his qualifications. They also wanted his birth certificate and school records for the last 6 years, even though they were already provided. If Ben Carson thinks the ACA is like slavery and the US today is like Nazi Germany then no hes'not qualified. He also equated homosexuality with bestiality. Not too bright.

      June 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  7. WOW

    Yes he is and he has my vote!

    May 30, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  8. Sebastian Kent

    No, he is not qualified to be President.

    I had a lot of respect for Carson's perceived smarts and intellect before he opened his mouth and revealed himself to be a fool on all things that are not Pediatric Neurology related. I still respect his medical accomplishments . . . but that's where it ends.

    He has not thought deeply and completely regarding the complicated interplay that an executive leader must have to steward an economy, a foreign policy, a domestic agenda that remains consistent with our representative democracy of 330 million people; some of whom are wealthy, some of who are moderately affluent, some of which are middle income, some of which are working but poor . . . and all of whom are American citizens deserving of a government that looks out for their Constitutional rights as they pursue their own happiness.

    Carson has never been a leader of people. He is a privileged doctor who is used to people kissing his @$$ rather than respecting his vision and being motivated by him to pursue a cause greater than themselves. I know a lot of doctors; very few of them are inspirational leaders of people.

    May 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • Matthew Epp

      The question was about Dr. Ben Carson, not Obama.

      May 31, 2014 at 9:09 am | Reply
      • Dave


        June 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm |

    Was Obama qualified?? ABSOLUTELY NOT..

    May 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • marieinoregon

      And he still isn't today.

      May 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  10. Al

    Probably as qualified as the guy that is in that position at this time.

    May 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  11. Dontbow

    Obama didn't so how can you questions this guy. In fact obama has proven just how bad he is at running a country.

    May 30, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  12. marilyn58

    No he is not quaified

    May 29, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • 1Joyce

      Obama was not qualified either, yet he was elected twice.

      May 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Why not?

      June 2, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  13. John Geheran

    It's a question that was never considered when the current US president put his hat in the ring. While there is little doubt that Mr. Obama possesses a keen intellect and a talented speaker, his experience as a "community organizer" hardly qualifies him to lead the world's largest economy.

    May 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  14. Victoria

    Ms. Cutter was very condescending in her tone to Dr. Carson She quite clearly needs some additional training to become more qualified herself – perhaps by the Fox News team! Dr. Carson is qualified in the correct areas to lead this country. Hoping he runs.

    May 29, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • kurt

      I have no problem with her pressing him to give a clear answer. I have no problem with him dodging either.

      Fans of fox news need to realize that the media SHOULD press people on both sides to answer the questions as opposed to dance around them. Part of politics is being able to shift the question asked to the topics you'd like to talk about (which Carson clearly was trying to do in that clip)... but part of journalism is trying to prevent that.

      I think you are right in that her tone probably wasn't as good as it should have been. A journalist shouldn't ever let their annoyance at having their question dodged show. But he also had the wrong tone when being called on dodging the question... because that's what he did.

      I think the answer he was trying to give (but got sidetracked by trying to make political points not related to the question) was:

      "Nobody is qualified to be commander in chief on their own... they need a strong team surrounding them. But I feel I'm qualified to select and surround myself with a strong team to handle such situations and that I'm capable of making tough decisions needed from a president." Then he could go into the tough decisions a surgeon makes in the operating room in order to save the lives of his patients.

      But he got sidetracked by trying to score political points by attacking Obama.

      May 30, 2014 at 8:13 am | Reply
  15. barbara

    If Obama was considered "qualified" to be President..... I think just about anyone else is just as qualified.

    May 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  16. neastsider

    Carson isn't qualified to pick up after the horses in a parade.

    May 29, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Eric Senga

      Your lack of respect for someone who has a different point of view tells me that you don't have respect for this country. He is more qualified than anyone. If he is not, what was the qualifications of Obama? Please enlightened me.

      May 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Reply
      • NeitherLeftRight

        Neither side shows many respect. Or maybe you've missed all the anti-Obama rhetoric?

        May 29, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
    • Smitty

      Rode the short bus, didn't you ???

      May 30, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      The current administration is the horses in the current parade! Is this what you meant?

      May 31, 2014 at 6:37 am | Reply
    • Dave

      WOW, are the left leaning bigots out strong today!

      June 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  17. Uncle Sam

    Liberals, you are so entertaining, in the way my 3 year old is entertaining. You're illogical, whiney and keep repeating the same thing over and over and over again. Fortunately, the only people who agree with you are other childish liberals. Barak Obama was not qualified to be President. But, that did not matter to you. No foreign policy experience... no problem for you guys. That's working out well now, isn't it? No national politics experience, saving two months in the Senate before he formed his exploratory committee... that's just fine with us. You didn't elect the man because he has the requisite experience or was qualified for the job. You elected him simply because he was a black man, and you guys love patting yourself on the back for how "evolved" and "progressive" you are. The problem is, by voting FOR a person simply because of his skin color is just as racist as voting AGAINST a person because of his skin color. 95% of all black people who voted voted for him. Again, because of experience? No, because they were racists who voted for the man simply because of the color of his skin. The majority of racists in this country are not conservative, they are liberal. The FACTS bear that out. But, facts have never been something that liberals embrace. After all, emotional pleas, outright lies and race-baiting are the staples of liberals. And facts tend to screw those things up. Enjoy being devoid of character. You wear the badge well.

    May 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • PedroFuego

      After reading your comment, I actually went back and gave an "up arrow" to the woman who posted how she made $70/hour just by working from home on her computer. She made a lot more sense.

      May 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • shwnc

      Hopefully your 3 year old will be smarter and get a better education than you apparently did. Do you actually know what the topic was? That's the problem with Tea Party members. You don't even know what the game your playing is.

      May 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Reply
      • John

        Brain Dead so clueless

        May 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • Kelly s

      Uncle Sam, you need to take your melds and get some rest. Your comments clearly indicate a distinct departure from objective reality. There are no FACTS that declare Liberals as racist. There simply is no support for anything that comes out of your silly mouth. And by he way, moron, I would be so happy id DR. Carson was nominated for the republican candidate for president. He would join the other half crazy, nut cases that the right paraded forth and get slaughtered in the election. See Sara Palin, Michele Bachmann etc. If you honestly think that those people are more competent than Mr. Obama than I am concerned that there is no hope for the segment of our society that you, unfortunately, represent. Nitey night Sammy.

      May 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Reply
      • Carmine

        “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

        Lyndon B. Johnson

        Is that evidence enough for you?

        May 31, 2014 at 8:18 am |
      • Carmine

        Kelly, I copied and pasted the quote but CNN mods are at it again. You only need to google "racist comments by Lyndon Johnson" to see that the basis for the civil rights movement by Dems in the 60's was to garner the black vote and maintain their oppression. The same thought process exists today, keep them dependent on government and you have a solid voting block. Unfortunately, that is not in the best interest of the African-American community.

        May 31, 2014 at 8:25 am |
    • 74659001

      Well said Uncle Sam

      May 29, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Reply
    • NeitherLeftRight

      The American people decided he was qualified not once but twice with over 50% of the vote. The electorate is not made up of enough liberals for him to win election twice let alone with over 50% of the vote.

      You sound illogical with the racist statements. The reality is that John McCain and Mitt Romney were weak candidates. They were the best of the worst the GOP had to offer.

      May 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Kevin Clay

      Angry and delusional are no way to go throughout life. Your post makes no sense.

      May 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  18. The Entire GOP Platform In A Single Paragraph

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    May 29, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      God, I pray that you help educate the ignorant. The above person would be a great place to start!

      June 2, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Your Entire Platform In A Single Sentence

      Let me continue to copy and paste hate and blasphemous rhetoric.

      June 2, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  19. Tony

    The difference between Rand Paul and Ben Carson is that Paul at least tries to reach out to people who are not conservatives.

    May 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  20. M. Phillips

    The racism of the majority of Obama haters is patently on display here in these posts. Notice how they want to make (twist) the comparison of one black man to another black man suggesting that if one black man is elected then another is just as qualified. President Obama has always had to fight the winds of racism. I'm proud that I voted for our president twice.

    May 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • 1Joyce

      Right, he got elected twice because so many are racists.

      May 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  21. Tony

    The difference between Herman Cain and Ben Carson is that Cain is more likable.

    May 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  22. Tom1940

    If you voted for Pres. B. Obama, (both times – even), how can you even suggest that Dr. Ben Carson "is not qualified" or "is qualified" to be U.S. President? Having "suffered" through the longest period of "having an empty suit" as POTUS, and a policy (both domestic and foreign) of "leading from behind" this President has brought the Office of POTUS to it's lowest point in U.S. History. Foreign "respect" for the POTUS does not exist. Domestic regard for the President is 44% (and I didn't know there were that many "low-information, uninformed, politically inept and ignorant folks – (about the country at large), alive in the U.S.). And to even suggest Dr. Carson would not be eminently "qualified", to be POTUS – Wow!

    May 29, 2014 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Keep

      "(and I didn't know there were that many "low-information, uninformed, politically inept and ignorant folks – (about the country at large), alive in the U.S.)"

      Ok.......Ok......Keep Palin voters out of this discussion.

      May 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • Vicki

      Very easy because President Obama is smart and is fighting for the things we Democrats support. We are not for more tax cuts for the wealthy. In fact we would love for the wealthy to pay taxes at all. Since so many corporations we have in America are paying no taxes at all. Time they were more patriotic to this country and to our people.

      June 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  23. Spencer

    Another gadfly for the peanut gallery.

    May 29, 2014 at 11:29 am | Reply
  24. pjoe

    He meets all qualifications. He was even born in the United States.

    May 29, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  25. Tony

    Ben Carson will not win if he runs for president of the American Medical Association.

    May 29, 2014 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • kurt

      On that you are correct.

      While a talented surgeon, other doctors don't want his viewpoints infecting policy for those who practice medicine.

      May 29, 2014 at 11:25 am | Reply
  26. stingerhp

    He is not qualified to be President, however, he is just as qualified as the current one is..

    May 29, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
  27. Chuck

    I thinks that the election of Obama has proved that no one is unqualified to be president.

    May 29, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • jillib

      And chuck, what did the (s)elections of GW Bush prove? That a serial business failure fulfills the qualifications of the presidency? Or is it more accurate that his last name and the supreme court put him in office. It certainly wasn't his resume – it consisted primarily of failure after failure.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:17 am | Reply
    • Vicki

      Chuck thank goodness many more Americans did want President Obama elected because he was absolutely qualified. All the GOP has ever had against Democrats is their ability to work tirelessly to tear them down with lies, more lies and even more vilification and lies.

      June 1, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  28. kurt

    Of course he's qualified. He's over 35 and a US citizen from birth (didn't go through naturalization).

    I think he'd struggle in a campaign. While very intellingent and a talented surgeon, I'm not sure he has the ability to keep his deeply felt religous views to himself (and some mainstream evangelicals will struggle with accepting some of his seventh day adventist views... such as the lack of "hell", the idea that there is no conciousness of souls in heavan (essentially your soul will sleep eternally rather then having a paradise to live in), and the fact that Ellen Gould White's "visions" were devine prophecy on par but subject to the bible. His support of the flat tax isn't based on economics, but rather the Bible concept of tithing.

    Carson has some formed political opinions on things like Obamacare (on which he can speak with authority being a doctor), marriage, evolution and gay rights.

    Some of his stated views in other areas are less then "ideally conservative". He believes the second amendment is in place to “give the populous the ability to assist the military in case of a foreign invasion,” as opposed to the more unrestricted view that most conservatives support.

    He's also a complete unknown in many areas.

    May 29, 2014 at 9:45 am | Reply
  29. Hector Slagg

    Stranger things have happened. Look who is in there now. Talked a good game but didn't know how to do anything. Funny how people are still fooled into voting for the biggest blowhard.

    May 29, 2014 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • kurt

      I think most people vote against a candidate in the general election, not for one.

      The general rule is vote for who you want to be president in the primary... then vote against the least palatable option in the general.

      The Clinton elections were a little odd with Perot in place. You actually had a choice once you eliminated the biggest evil in your mind.

      May 29, 2014 at 11:28 am | Reply
  30. Steve

    He says some awfully dumb things. No he's not qualified to be President.

    May 29, 2014 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • jillib

      Agreed Steve. It's so much easier to throw red meat to the rubes than actually put serious thought and consideration to the issues.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:18 am | Reply
  31. R Simmons

    The better question that should have been asked by this and other reporters is "Is Barrack Obama qualified to be President?"

    The Administrations incompetence is and has been showing

    May 29, 2014 at 8:33 am | Reply

    I remember when Guns Over People teatards sent those blondes after their favorite Uncle Tom,Herman Cain when he won a primary. Dr Ben Carson better pay attention.

    May 29, 2014 at 7:26 am | Reply
  33. Sat Woods

    All I know is the President we have right now is not qualified to be President. Totally incompetent !

    May 29, 2014 at 7:11 am | Reply
    • Kevin Clay

      He is not incompetent. He has to deal with a Republican congress that is the least popular in history because they are completely obstructionist. Here's an intelligence/credibility test for you. Do you think George W. Bush was qualified to be President.

      May 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Reply
      • Matthew Epp

        Do you and others like you ever take any responsibility for anything? Seriously, this administration and enablers like you have blamed Bush, and Congressional Rep. for everything the Pres. Hasn't done. I don't ever remember hearing Reagan, Bush 41, or Bush 43 blame their failings or short comings on the previous administration or the congress. Learning to work with others is what makes for good leadership, Obama only knows how to point fingers and blame others.

        May 31, 2014 at 9:19 am |
  34. Miguel Serda

    I don't know weather ben Carson will run for president and be the commander in chief, but I do know that draft dodging shamed out of office newt Gingrich will never be one. Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 01:09:50 +0000 To:

    May 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.