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Interviews

Ben Carson on Mosque surveillance

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 28, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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WATTERS: Thanks for staying with us, I'm Jesse Watters in for Bill O'Reilly. And in the "Personal Story" segment tonight, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, the doctor joins us from Palm Beach. Doctor, you just heard the last segment, in a Carson administration, where would you stand on mosque surveillance?

DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, recognize that, you know, I grew up in Detroit where there are a lot of Muslims. And, you know, the vast, vast majority of them are good, decent people. I think Teddy Roosevelt put it best in 1907 when he said, we are a country of immigrants. Everybody is welcome from any race, from any religion as long as they want to be Americans. As long as they accept our values and beliefs and our laws. And that's the way I feel about it and I think that's the way most Americans feel about it. Now, what we have to be careful of is allowing ourselves to be duped by political correctness and say well, you know, we can't even investigate these people because, you know, that's racial profiling or religious profiling, you know, that's what they are counting on.

WATTERS: Right.

CARSON: They are counting on us being that silly. But we have to be smarter than that obviously if there is justifiable cause, if there is suspicion, human intelligence is your first leg, you go and then you listen and survey for a while and if it seems more suspicious, you put in your electronic equipment or whatever else you need.

WATTERS: Right, because it's clear in San Bernardino. Political correctness killed. We had one of the neighbors suspicious of some of the activity at the house. A lot of Muslims guys in and out of there all hours of the night, all of a sudden but he didn't say anything he didn't want to be accused of being a bigot and now all those people out there did. But I want to get to Bill Clinton. You have heard a lot of this stuff out there on the campaign trail. Donald Trump kind of warning the Clintons he may go after Bill for his history with women. Do you think that's fair game going after Bill Clinton?

CARSON: Every past president is fair game. The fact that one of them happens to be married to a presidential candidate doesn't change that.

WATTERS: Do you have of course --

CARSON: It's fair game.

WATTERS: Do you have a problem as a Christian and a leader in this country with Bill Clinton's history with women?

CARSON: Well, yes, you know, my main problem with it is that I saw innocent little kids. You know, as a pediatric nurse surgeon, I had (INAUDIBLE) a lot of children, and I see them becoming curser and wanting to know what certain things are. That they are hearing about -- doesn't think that there was never known about as kids before. And a certain innocence disappears from our society. I'm sorry to see that happen and I'm sorry that it was because one of our presidents.

WATTERS: Yes. Right now we are very, very close to Iowa and New Hampshire. And you are doing pretty well in the middle of the Pac there towards the top middle of the Pac now. And your campaigns has had a few ups and downs. You have been high, been low. And I feel personally that when you were at your best, when you were speaking your mind, you were speaking directly. You were telling the truth. You didn't care about political correctness. You were telling the truth about Muslims. About the war on terror. About Democrats and poverty and race in this country. And what I want to know is, has your strategy changed? Have you done anything differently recently?

CARSON: Well, we are -- I'm in the process of really carefully examining everything that's going on.

WATTERS: What does that mean?

CARSON: We are taking some -- I'm looking at finances, I'm looking at personnel. I'm looking at messaging. And some of those things are going to change without question. And I think I'm also going to be a little more aggressive in my speaking. I'm not going to shout and jump up and down like some people keep telling me that I should do because --

WATTERS: Right.

CARSON: You know, that's not basically not who I am. But I am going to emphasize what true strength is all about. A lot of people think it's about the decibels at which you say something. I'm going to emphasize accomplishments. Accomplishments is what really demonstrates that you have strength. What have you been able to overcome and what you have achieved? And I would be very happy to compare, you know, my life achievements against anybody else who is running.

WATTERS: Great. Well, we look forward to hearing that and you differentiating yourself in terms of accomplishments with some of the other candidates and good luck, Dr. Carson, on the campaign trail. Thank you very much.

CARSON: Thank you. Thank you very much.

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