Dr. Ben Carson questions Obama's position on radical Islam

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," February 20, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST HOST: Joining us now to react, Dr. Ben Carson, the former pediatric neurosurgery director at John Hopkins Hospital, and the author of "You Have a Brain."

All right. Dr. Carson, Chris made a little bit of a reference to this in illusions to the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center. I mean, not long ago, they basically classified you as an extremist, they talked about your views that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, your estimation that in some ways the takeover of health care in this country by ObamaCare could be akin to slavery. They've since sort of apologized and retracted and said, they still think you have a lot of extremist things to say and they think that your views are something that most people would find extreme. So should we put you on a watch list too?

DR. BEN CARSON, FORMER PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY DIRECTOR, JOHN HOPKINS HOSPITAL: I guess probably all of us should be on a watch list if we don't agree with them. But, you know, the interesting thing here is, I think everybody can remember when they didn't want to do something. And all of a sudden everything else seemed more interesting. Well, that's what this administration is doing now. You know, a couple weeks ago it was the Christian crusaders. Now it's the sovereign citizens. Because they don't really want to deal with the radical Islamic terrorists. They don't want to do what they know needs to be done. And it really is quite a shame.  But the real problem is we don't seem to learn. In World War I, you know, Woodrow Wilson and Secretary Brian, they didn't want to get involved.

We finally got dragged in, you know, after the Lusitania.  World War II, you know, Roosevelt didn't want to go in there. It took Pearl Harbor. What is it going to take for us to realize the existential threat that exists because of this? We keep saying, oh, they're junior league, they're not a threat to us. If they're a threat to the world -- to another part of the world, they will be a threat to us. It's like a little bush right now which will grow into a big tree. And it will be much more difficult to uproot it later on. Why can't we learn that?

BREAM: Well, Dr. Carson, this administration has gotten a lot of heat because of the words it very carefully uses and the fact that it will use some language isn't favored to using other language. There's been a lot said about the 21 Christians who were marched out, beheaded. It's all videotaped and spread around the world. And whether or not they would be identified as having been killed for being Christians. I want to play a sound bite from the leader of the UK's Coptic Christian Church. One of their leaders and his take on our inability to say something more strongly about that incident.


BISHOP ANGAELOS, HEAD OF UK COPTIC CHURCH: It was a direct act of persecution of people who are Christians because they were Christians. And I was slightly uneasy with what was said on this side of the Atlantic. But I'm sure there's a reason for that. And I hope that if there's a chance to clarify then it will be clarified.


BREAM: All right. So this is a man who, you know, 21 Christians, specifically from his denomination, were marched out and killed for no other reason in that except that they were Christians. He seems concerned that the U.S., which a lot of people across the world for decades have viewed as, you know, leaders of the free world, the moral authority in a lot of cases although there are those who feel the exact opposite of the United States. But democracy-loving people like to think that the U.S. is going to stand up for what is right and for freedom. And that leader sounded a bit discouraged.

CARSON: Well, it seems like the only thing that our leaders are willing to stand up for is political correctness, which is antithetical to one of the founding principles of our nation, freedom of speech and freedom of expression. And what we the people are going to have to do is stop allowing that to control us. And, you know, we're going to have to start thinking for ourselves. We're going to have to start thinking, what are we going to do to fight the threats that exist if our government's not going to fight it. We're going to have to start thinking about what are we going to do. Our representatives are going to have to start thinking about what do they have to do. We're not helpless. We don't just sit around and wring our hands. People start thinking.

BREAM: What can they do? I mean, the White House -- the commander- in-chief, President Obama, is in charge. He's the rightful leader of the U.S. military. There are many within the ranks who have disagreed with him, but as long as he's in charge, what can anyone else do when it comes to combating this specific threat?

CARSON: Well, I don't want to suggest what they do. I just want to suggest that they start thinking about it and start discussing it. It's sort of like the patriots and the pre-revolutionary days. They didn't like what King George III was doing. They got together and they started talking about what kind of nation do you want to have and what can we do to make sure we get it. And they began to encourage each other and they began to come up with ideas. And that's how ragtag bunch of militiamen defeated the most powerful empire on Earth.

We are Americans. We have a can-do attitude. We have to work together. We can do this.

BREAM: Well, a lot of that will be the conversation for many leaders, or hopeful leaders going through 2016. We'll keep an eye on you. And Dr. Carson, always good to see you. Thank you.

CARSON: Thank you. Always, Shannon.

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