Ben Carson’s #SunshineSummit speech links personal to political

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Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson reminded a Sunshine Summit crowd that he’s a relatively new Florida resident.

Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, said he decided to move in 2013 from “the People’s Republic of Maryland,” seeking the Sunshine State’s lower tax climate.

Carson then told a homespun tale about his Detroit upbringing and his mother, “the only one who believed in me.”

She also knew how to stretch a dollar: “If she was secretary of the treasury, we would not be in a deficit situation.”

And she made him read two books a day, which led him to realizing there were “people of great accomplishment” in life.

Soon, his academic achievement rose and his self-doubt decreased.

“Education is the great divide,” he quoted her. “If you get a great education, you can write your own ticket.”

At the same time, Carson said he doesn’t want to tear down the social safety nets that protect the poor: “That’s just a bunch of crap, put out by the left wing.”

At the same time, Carson said, “It’s not the government’s responsibility” to provide for the less prosperous, “it’s our responsibility.” He wasn’t clear about what meant, however.

One thing was clear: Republicans need to take back the White House, he said.

“And you have a role to play in making sure that happens,” he said. “When you don’t vote, you are voting, but you are voting the wrong way.”

Carson also bashed the Affordable Care Act, and its employer mandate, saying it is “destroying the fundamental backbone of growth in America.”

“It’s not because of the rich, it’s because of these asinine policies,” he said.

He concluded: “Now is the time to rise up and take America back to where it should be.”

Carson is at 20 percent in the polls among GOP contenders, according to the most recent Huffington Post average, with Donald Trump in the lead at almost 28 percent.

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