Ben Carson’s speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast thrust the famed neurosurgeon into the national spotlight as a contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He has been well received by many evangelicals and Tea Party adherents who believe him to be one of them. But, things are not always as they seem, especially when it comes to politicians and speech writers.
My research has shown Ted Cruz to be the far more conservative and constitutionally-minded candidate as Dr. Carson is neither an evangelical nor a true Conservative. I have gathered information and quotes from many sources so that you can judge for yourselves whether Cruz or Carson is better aligned with your religious and political beliefs. As for me, the Seventh-day Adventist doctor who has admittedly referred women, especially those carrying children with birth defects, for abortions, supports Obama-style amnesty and gun control and opposes parental rights, is not the right choice to guide this nation away from the Socialist path that we are on and back to a Constitutional foundation of liberty and justice for all.
This blog is rather lengthy, so feel free to skip around to the issues that matter most to you. But, whatever you do, please don’t continue to buy the hype. Instead, investigate to find out who these candidates really are and where they stand. It would be wise to heed this advice from our second president as you consider where you will cast your vote this primary season:
We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands; we have a check upon two branches of the legislature . . . the power I mean of electing at stated periods [each] branch. . . . It becomes necessary to every [citizen] then, to be in some degree a statesman, and to examine and judge for himself of the tendency of political principles and measures. Let us examine, then, with a sober, a manly . . . and a Christian spirit; let us neglect all party [loyalty] and advert to facts; let us believe no man to be infallible or impeccable in government any more than in religion; take no man’s word against evidence, nor implicitly adopt the sentiments of others who may be deceived themselves, or may be interested in deceiving us. ~ John Adams
Ted Cruz has been consistently pro-life in his speech and he has the record to back it up, as documented by the Conservative Review (https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ted-cruz#article-12).
As LifeNews reported, Paul said in an interview that Republicans should agree to disagree on social issues… “I think that the Republican Party, in order to get bigger, will have to agree to disagree on social issues,” Paul told vocativ.com… But Ted Cruz doesn’t agree, as CNN reports: The first-term Republican senator from Texas, who was in Iowa Tuesday, was asked by the Des Moines Register about Paul’s recent comments that Republicans should “agree to disagree” about social issues. Cruz seemed to disagree, saying, “I think that we should continue to defend our shared values.” “There are some who say the Republican party should no longer stand for life. I don’t agree with that,” he also said. “I’ll let him characterize his views,” Cruz said. “What I can tell you is my views are that we should continue to defend life and that we should continue to defend traditional marriage.” On eight votes cast in the Senate during his tenure, Paul has a 100% pro-life voting record, according to the National Right to Life Committee. Cruz also has a 100% pro-life voting record, casting three pro-life votes out of three votes on pro-life issues during his time in the Senate. (Source: http://www.lifenews.com/2014/03/19/ted-cruz-rand-paul-is-wrong-republicans-should-keep-defending-pro-life-values/)
Based on the opinions that he has expressed in interviews and debates, Ben Carson has been touted as a staunchly pro-life candidate by many media outlets. However, this is one of the few issues where he does have a record and that record does not support his claims.
But while Carson insists he’s a fierce opponent of abortion, he also defends a long series of actions on the issue that are sharply at odds with the beliefs of the very voters fueling his rise. Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, has referred women to doctors who perform abortions, was a trustee of a foundation that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood, and his campaign struggles to articulate which legal restrictions he supports on the procedure. Carson’s history on the issue is shaped by his medical background: Decisions he made decades ago — about referring women carrying fetuses with genetic defects to doctors willing to perform abortions, and conducting research using fetal tissue — came in the context of making complex medical decisions. But those are calls the candidate, who is running as ardently anti-abortion, stands by today, positions he argues are not out of step with being personally pro-life. And they are positions his communications director defended in an interview using language favored by advocates for abortion rights. “He believes in quality medical care, No. 1, and secondly, he believes in people making their own decisions based on facts and information,” said Carson communications director Doug Watts, when asked whether Carson stands by his previous decisions to refer women whose fetuses had genetic defects to doctors who provide abortions. He does, Watts said. (Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/ben-carson-abortion-stance-121456)
Senator Cruz has been a defender of traditional marriage from the beginning, and he didn’t mince words following the June 26th Supreme Court decision.
In the case of marriage, a majority of states passed laws or state constitutional amendments to affirm the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. At the federal level, the Congress and President Clinton enacted the Defense of Marriage Act. When it comes to marriage, the Court has clearly demonstrated an unwillingness to remain constrained by the Constitution. (Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420409/ted-cruz-supreme-court-constitutional-amendment)
Dr. Carson, who has voiced his support for same-sex civil unions in the past, neglected to take a strong stand against the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional ruling.
But when the Obergefell decision came down, he followed up this tactical retreat with a surprisingly brief public statement whose first sentence emphasized: “While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, their ruling is now the law of the land.” Carson called for general religious-liberty protections from Congress, but made no specific promises. The welcome news that Carson has made a commitment to pass the First Amendment Defense Act comes just as the neurosurgeon outsider has also emerged as a serious contender for the GOP nomination. (Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423207/ben-carson-marriage-champion-maggie-gallagher)
Again, Cruz has been the strongest voice for securing our border, insisting that we must put a stop to illegal immigration and leading the fight against the proposed amnesty legislation put forth by the Gang of Eight in 2013.
Nearly every candidate in the GOP race for President claims to fight for stopping illegal immigration. However, only U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has a proven record of repeatedly and consistently fighting to do so. Ted Cruz believes we must secure the border and enforce our immigration laws. As President, Ted Cruz would rescind President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty and cut off all federal funds to sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce immigration laws and cooperate in the capture of illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes. (Source: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3321761/posts)
As with other crucial issues of our time, Carson seems unsure as to what he actually believes about illegal immigration. He has expressed a wide range of opinions, from the need to secure the border and enforce current immigration laws, to declaring the impossibility of deporting all of the illegal immigrants and suggesting, instead, an amnesty-type solution.
Carson in his books has staked out a hard line on immigration. Carson has called for both the border to be secured and strict interior enforcement measures. Carson has opposed illegal immigration and called for a system to ensure only legal immigrants are hired. However, in more recent rhetoric Carson has championed a national guest-worker program as a way for immigrants to be granted citizenship and favored a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In the late summer of 2015, Carson came out against rigorous enforcement of current deportation laws. Carson has flip flopped on the proposed national guest-worker program; first, Carson said that illegals would have to return to their home country, but in July of 2015 Carson amended his proposal to allow for illegals to remain in country as guest workers as long as they pay taxes. This proposal is very similar to the failed Gang of 8 amnesty bill and until the border is secured incentivizes illegal immigration. Additionally Carson directly slammed calls for enforcing deportation laws. Carson like all the other GOP candidates wants the border secure, but Carson’s support for creation of a new guest-worker program comprised of illegal immigrants is amnesty but by another name. (Source: https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ben-carson#article-11)
War on Terror
Senator Cruz has consistently taken a hard line as to what our response to Islamic terrorism and ISIS should be and he has the record to prove it. (See: https://www.tedcruz.org/record/stronger-safer-america/, https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ted-cruz#article-8)
Cruz said that while he was at the Munich Security Conference, the President of Kurdistan revealed to him that ISIS was using rape as a political tool to instill fear within minority sects. “ISIS is the face of evil. They are beheading children. They are crucifying Christians. They are beheading journalists,” said Cruz. Cruz added, “The solution to ISIS is not eradicating poverty in the Middle East, or expanding medicaid in Iraq. The solution to ISIS is to hunt down and kill the terrorist leaders.” (Source: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/11/%EF%BB%BFsen-ted-cruz-isis-is-the-face-of-evil-iran-presents-gravest-threat-to-america/)
Dr. Carson is very weak on foreign policy and far too idealistic in his stance on terrorism. He has no record that would demonstrate a willingness to protect America from the greatest evil we face in the 21st Century, so we can only judge him by his own words.
“I actually wrote President Bush a letter before the war started and I said, you know, what I would do is I would use the bully pulpit at this moment of great national unity and, very much in a Kennedy-esque type fashion, say within 10 years we’re going to become petroleum independent,” Carson told TheDC. “And that would’ve been much more effective than going to war because, first of all, the moderate Arab states would’ve been terrified. And they would’ve handed over Osama Bin Laden and anybody else we wanted on a silver platter to keep us from doing that.” (Source: http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/19/ben-carsons-most-surprising-policy-positions/#)
Cruz has been a loyal friend to Israel in words and actions.
He blasted the administration’s handling of the latest failed round of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Cruz said a long-lasting peace agreement is unlikely unless and until Palestinian leadership agrees to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as Jewish state, and until they “renounce terrorism.” Cruz ripped U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his private warning Israel could become an “apartheid state,” a statement for which Kerry later apologized. However, Cruz said the damage is already done, calling Kerry’s remark “grossly inaccurate” and “deeply offensive.” “Those words will certainly be repeated by enemies of Israel. They will say this is not us speaking. This is the Secretary of State of the United States,” Cruz said Wednesday. (Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-israel-policy-2014-5)
Carson has been outspoken about his support for Israel, stating,
“I would make it very clear that Israel and the United States have a long, cordial relationship, and I don’t think we should ever leave the Israelis in a position of wondering whether we support them,” Carson said in an hourlong interview with The Associated Press in Jerusalem. “And that certainly is a question now.” (http://news.yahoo.com/2016-hopeful-ben-carson-pledges-support-israel-080219673–politics.html)
However, his understanding of foreign governments, including America’s only Democratic ally in the Middle East, is demonstrably weak.
“What is the role of the Knesset?” Carson asked his Israeli guide of the country’s one-chamber legislature. The occasion was a Christmastime trip in 2014, his first to the nation that almost all presidential hopefuls visit. The guide explained its working and Israel’s political parties. “It sounds complex,” he said. “Why don’t they just adopt the system we have?” (http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-25/the-best-and-worst-moments-from-gq-s-ben-carson-profile)
As a Senator, Cruz has been one of the few exceptions to the “when in Washington, do as the politicians” mindset. Famous (or infamous depending upon your commitment to the Constitution) for shutting down the government in 2013 in an attempt to defund Obama Care, Cruz has been consistent in his opposition to excessive government spending.
During his time in the Senate, Cruz has mounted a fierce fight against wasteful government spending at every turn. He has consistently opposed spending with no budgetary offsets. Additionally, he led the effort to oppose the latest increase in the federal debt ceiling, receiving significant criticism from establishment Republicans. He has also not only voted for a balanced federal budget, but also opposed bloated omnibus spending bills and bailouts. Cruz has voted consistently to protect America’s fiscal security and to limit government to its constitutionally defined roles. (Source: https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ted-cruz#article-4)
Dr. Carson has expressed a very limited view on government spending, which does nothing more than highlight his lack of executive experience, which is arguably necessary to be an effective president.
Unlike the other candidates running, Carson does not have a legislative record to clearly define his fiscal record. Carson has made generally conservative statements about the budget, spending and debt, but these statements lacks specifics. His most specific proposal is a federal government hiring freeze, but that does nothing to immediately address the size of the government. (Source: https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ben-carson#article-4)
1. Guns/2nd Amendment
The Texas Senator’s undying allegiance to the U.S. Constitution doesn’t waiver when it comes to the Second Amendment. Even in the face of tragedies that have had a tendency to transform the spines of many politicians to Jello, Ted Cruz has remained strong.
“Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story described the Second Amendment as the palladium of our liberties. It is foundation to free men and free women being able to defend their homes, their families, their lives and liberty, and it also serves as a fundamental check on government tyranny… America was founded on a revolutionary concept. Namely, that our rights don’t come from government, they come from God Almighty. The natural rights of man include life, liberty, and property. Each of those rights is dependent upon being able to preserve the safety and security of your own family. In fact, the very first Congress not only acted to protect our Second Amendment rights but mandated the militia act; that adult free men must own a musket.” (Source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/09/exclusive-sen-ted-cruz-2nd-amendment-a-fundamental-check-on-government-tyranny)
“Unfortunately that is the approach with President Obama on every issue, is that he seeks to tear us apart, he seeks to politicize it and it’s worth remembering he is ideological and he’s a radical,” Cruz said on “The Mark Levin Show,” as first reported by Buzzfeed News. “You know, as his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel said, ‘you never let a good crisis go to waste,’ and that is sadly his approach.” The GOP presidential hopeful said the president is using the shooting as a political ploy to take guns away from Americans. “We ought to do everything we can, for example, to be prosecuting the felons and fugitives who are trying to illegally buy guns,” Cruz said. “The Obama administration doesn’t do that. Instead, they try to use these tragedies as an excuse to come after the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. “It’s unconstitutional, it’s cynical, and it’s wrong,” he added. (Source: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/255803-cruz-obama-trying-to-tear-us-apart-with-comments-on-oregon-shooting)
Our 2nd Amendment rights are no laughing matter to most Conservatives. As has been the case with so many important issues, Dr. Carson has been unable to decide where he stands on this issue.
Dr. Carson has taken several different positions on the second amendment. While historically some statements initially sound like they line up in support of the 2nd Amendment, other statements come closer to Obama’s call to ban various weapons. Carson has embarked on a concerted effort to address previous statements and positions that were indicative of being open to gun control such as registration and bans. His goal is to put supporters of the Second Amendment at ease that he was misinterpreted or no longer holds those views. It should also be noted that while Carson has attempted to clarify his position he has not stated his position on policies that would strengthen the Second Amendment like a national concealed carry reciprocity and removing the interstate ban on sale of handguns. While Carson’s change in heart may be one of sincerity or a shift because of political winds, the reader will have to determine ultimately where they think Carson stands on the Second Amendment. (Source: https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ben-carson#article-13)
2. Parental Rights
While he believes in vaccines and has vaccinated his own children, Ted Cruz has taken a Constitutionally appropriate stand on federally mandated vaccines, standing by his opinion that issues such as these belong in the hands of the state governments, while expressing support for the vaccine exemptions that are allowed by most states.
Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, is known for his adherence to the Constitution and notes requirements on whether vaccinations should be mandatory is a state issue. “Most states include an exception clause for good faith religious convictions, and that’s an appropriate judgment for the states to make,” he said. “But on the question of whether kids should be vaccinated, the answer is obvious and there’s widespread agreement: Of course they should.” (Source: http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2015/02/03/ted-cruz-vaccines-children-christie/)
Dr. Carson enraged many Conservatives and Libertarians when he made clear his position that parents do not have a right to decide whether their children should be given vaccines. Whatever your beliefs on this particular issue, parental rights have always been sacred ground for liberty-minded Americans.
“Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society,” Carson told The Hill. “Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them.” (Source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/03/dr-ben-carson-no-philosophical-or-religious-exemptions-for-vaccinations/)
I have included this section because many mistakenly believe that Dr. Carson is an Evangelical Christian. This issue is important to me, as it was to our founders. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of The United States Supreme Court, stated, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” This is one of my priorities when selecting a candidate to support.
Cruz is a Southern Baptist who has never been afraid of standing up for his faith. He was the keynote speaker at The Colorado Renewal Project conference, which emphasized the need for Christians and pastors to get involved in politics and influence our culture for Christ.
Speaking of his personal faith in a 2013 interview with CBN News he said: “At the end of the day, faith is not organized religion; it’s not going to a church. It is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.” But although he rarely shies away from mixing his faith and politics, he said it was important for politicians “to avoid being a Pharisee, to avoid ostentatiously wrapping yourself in your faith, because I think in politics, it’s too easy for that to become a crutch, for that to be politically useful.” His father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, is director of Purifying Fire Ministries – the ministry of Suzanne Hinn (wife of Benny). Cuban-born Pastor Cruz has compared Barack Obama’s leadership approach to that of Fidel Castro, describing him as a Marxist who “seeks to destroy all concept of God”. (Source:What Do We Know About The Faith Of The 2016 Presidential Candidates So Far?)
Carson is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church, the religion of both his mother and his estranged father, who was an Adventist minister. Despite proclaiming himself to be a Christian, especially in the wake of the UCC Massacre in Oregon when he posted a photograph of himself to Facebook and Twitter with the caption, #IamAChristian, the Seventh-day Adventist church strays far from Biblical Christianity in many ways including their teaching that Sunday worship is the mark of the beast (http://www.letusreason.org/7thAd28.htm) and their doctrine of Annihilationism (http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/a/Annihilationism.htm).
However, Ben Carson has voiced an acceptance of all religions that is contrary to the Biblical doctrine that Jesus is the only way to the Father and which contradicts the beliefs of the Adventist church itself.
Carson’s understanding of other religions is also atypically inclusive compared to many Christian conservatives. Carson has repeatedly voiced respect for multiple faith traditions, and described a tolerant approach to religious pluralism in his 2012 book America the Beautiful. “As a Christian, I am not the least bit offended by the beliefs of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Mormons and so forth,” Carson wrote. “In fact, I am delighted to know that they believe in something that is more likely to make them into a reasonable human being, as long as they don’t allow the religion to be distorted by those seeking power and wealth.” (Source: Ben Carson Faith Profile)