Dr. Ben Carson opens up about potential 2016 run

Carson: Sharpton and I have same goal; different opinions how to get there on 'The Kelly File'


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," April 15, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: New details tonight of a surprising admission from a possible Republican presidential contender. Dr. Ben Carson says in an op-ed that he and Reverend Al Sharpton actually have the same goal. What's that?

Dr. Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon and a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender. He joins me now. 

Dr. Carson, I think you just sent a shiver down the spine of a lot of Republican voters out there who are not particularly fans of Al Sharpton. Can you explain?

DR. BEN CARSON, POTENTIAL 2016 REPUBLICAN CONTENDER: Well, I was invited to speak at his National Action Network. And a lot of people say no, no, no, you shouldn't go, you shouldn't any way be associated with that man. And even Mr. Sharpton himself when he introduced me, he said, you know, Dr. Carson and I probably don't agree on anything. I don't think we could even agree that today is Wednesday, but it was worth listening to.

And you know, the problem, one of the big problems in our country right now is that we get off in our respective corners, and we throw hand grenades to each other. And we need to be solving problems now.

You know, the Sharpton group says that they want to elevate people. Well, I wanted to give an alternative to the massive spending of trillions of dollars since the 60's to so-called help people because it hasn't helped people. It's actually made people worse off. We have more crime, more poverty, more broken homes; none of the things that were supposed to have gotten better have gotten better. And there's a much better alternative in terms of teaching people how to turn dollars over in their own community in order to create wealth, in terms of breaching back and pulling back other people who were trying to come along. And some people have accused me of being hypocritical. They said, you grew up very poor and you must have had some type of government assistance, and now you want to remove it from everybody. That's a blatant lie. I've never said that I wanted to remove all government assistance. What I have said is that, I want to concentrate on ways that we allow people to move out of the state system so that they become part of the fabric.


KELLY: Yes, you're about empowerment. I've heard that message from you before and I've heard the story with your mother and the poem and all of it which is very moving. I think what was surprising about the Sharpton, I don't know, partnership, whatever you want to call it, is, you know, this is a man who has stoked the racial fires in recent months, who has gone out there making preconceived arguments and judgments about cases that he knows very little of, and for example, in Ferguson, Missouri, saying that that officer was not in fear for his life, that Michael Brown posed no bodily threat to him, none of which turned out to be true, we're still waiting for his apology. So, why would you potentially tarnish your own brand by partnering up with somebody like that?

CARSON: Well, you won't get me to defend him, but I will tell you that the audience, a little cool when I first started...


KELLY: Yes, there were some boos, which was mean.

CARSON: ... but by the time I finished a standing ovation and very warm, which means that we can reach people. That we don't want to categorize people based on an individual. We to want give them all an opportunity to listen and evaluate. Because it's the only way we're going to heal the very deep divisions that exist in our country.

KELLY: Now you're getting ready for a big announcement on May 4th, and it being Tax Day and you being, you know, a more small government tax kind of guy, from what I've heard, I want to ask you about a story I've read in The Washington Post, where Art Laffer said that he had a meeting with you and talked about tax plans. And you said you had your own and he said, you know what, I also have a great new plan I thought up for separating brain neurons. And he said you got the joke which is, why don't you let the economist come up with the tax plan and you do the brain plan. And did that really happen and what is the plan?

CARSON: Well, we have had an opportunity to talk a couple of times. And you know, what I want to really lay out are the principles. I have no problem with allowing the experts on the economy to come up with all the details, but the fact of the matter is, you know, we have way too much in the way of taxes. Our tax code is 82,000 pages long. No one can comply with all of that. The government can get anybody on tax issues, which is the precursor to a totalitarian government. We don't want that. And we want a system that is truly fair, for everybody, not having any favorites. And you know, I want something that is flatter, and fairer. And I want everybody to participate because if half the people don't participate, it's real easy for a politician to come along and say I want to raise taxes on the one percent or the two percent or the five percent, it's very hard for them to say I want to raise taxes on a 100 percent.

KELLY: It is because it's politically risky.

All right. One of the many things I want to continue a discussion on another day since we're out of time tonight. But, Dr. Carson, it's always great speaking with you. Thanks for being here tonight, sir.

CARSON: It's a pleasure. Thank you, Megyn.

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