Ben Carson has all but suspended his campaign following a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday, telling supporters that he doesn’t see a “path forward” for his presidential campaign and will not attend the GOP debate Thursday night.
It was hardly a shocker. Carson, who lead the GOP field for about a New York minute last fall, saw his poll numbers in free fall after a series of head-scratching, yet highly entertaining gaffes.
In honor of Carson, TheWrap compiled his seven most craziest comments from his 2016 presidential campaign.
Here’s looking at you, Dr. Carson:
7. The Fruit Salad of Their Lives…
Carson struck hashtag gold when he pulled out the phrase “the fruit salad of their life” as he reflected on potential Supreme Court nominations. The retired neurosurgeon had both viewers and Twitterverse in a tizzy trying to figure out what it meant.
“As president, I would go and look at what a person’s life has been,” Carson said during a CNN GOP debate earlier this month. “What have they done in the past? What kind of judgments have they made? What kind of associations do they have? That will tell you a lot more than an interview will tell you. The fruit salad of their life is what I would look at.”
The juicy choice of words sparked both hilarious and mocking memes on social media as the phrase quickly became a top trend on Twitter.
6. What Global Warming?
While Carson doesn’t exactly deny climate change, he’s not too worried about it either.
According to Carson, climate change is what happens any time temperatures fluctuate.
“Of course there’s climate change,” Carson told the audience at the University of New Hampshire in October. “Any point in time, temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down. Of course that’s happening. When that stops happening, that’s when we’re in big trouble.”
Did we mention he’s a scientist?
5. Being Gay Is a Choice… Just Look at Prisoners
Carson, an actual M.D., raised eyebrows when he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo in May that homosexuality was a choice because “a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay.”
While Cuomo was still digesting Carson’s rationale, the retired neurosurgeon added this little gem: “So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
4. Joseph Built Egypt’s Pyramids to Store Grain
When a 17-year old video of Carson surfaced claiming that the Old Testament figure Joseph built the Egyptian pyramids to store food, the Internet went berserk.
Scholars contested his theory, insisting the Pyramids were built to inter pharaohs. But Carson doubled down on his comments. That had some users coming up with their own unusual historical facts, with the hashtag #BenCarsonWikipedia spreading through social media like a wildfire on a dry summer day.
2. Big Bang: A Fairy Tale… and the Theory of Evolution Was Encouraged by The Devil
In 2012, Carson said in a speech that the Big Bang theory was part of the “fairy tales” pushed by “highfalutin scientists” as a story of creation.
“I find the Big Bang really quite fascinating,” Carson said. “I mean, here you have all these highfalutin’ scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order. Now these are the same scientists that go around touting the second law of thermodynamics, which is entropy, which says that things move toward a state of disorganization.”
Carson also said he believed Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was the work of the devil.
“I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary, and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct,” Carson said.
3. Obamacare: Worst Thing Since Slavery
Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington in October, Carson told supporters that Obamacare is so bad, it’s the worst thing to happen to this country since slavery.
“You know, Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”
2. Hitler Would Have Killed a Lot Less Jews If They Only Had More Guns
Note to politicians… stay away from the Holocaust. At all cost. That was a lesson Carson learned after he blamed the Holocaust on Nazi gun control in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in October.
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said. “There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
1. Victims of Gun Violence Need to Fight… Like I Did at Popeye’s
After an Oregon community college became a target of gun violence in October, Carson urged victims to fight back. And just so they got his point, he recounted a story of how he was held at gunpoint and fought back… by encouraging the perpetrator to point his gun at the Popeye’s clerk instead.
“I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s organization” Carson told Sirius XM Radio. “Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, ‘I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.'”