Note to Barack Obama: You’re just not black enough… at least not according to Ben Carson.
The retired neurosurgeon, whose campaign took him from frontrunner status to almost non-existent, is suggesting that if elected commander-in-chief, he’d be the first African-American POTUS because, as he puts it, President Obama was “raised white.”
“He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white. Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch,” Carson told Politico in a podcast that aired Tuesday.
Obama, born in Honolulu, is biracial. His mother was white, while his father was a native of Kenya.
“Like most Americans, I was proud that we broke the color barrier when he was elected, but I also recognize that his experience and my experience are night-and-day different. He didn’t grow up like I grew up, by any stretch of the imagination,” Carson said, adding, “Not even close.”
After surging to the top the Republican party’s race for the White House last year, Carson has seen his poll numbers plummet as scrutiny over his grasp of foreign policy reached fever pitch. Adding insult to injury, Carson was prone to strange gaffes, even for an election cycle filled with unusual rhetoric.
In November, Carson was mocked for his assertion that Egypt’s great pyramids were built by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain, an idea that was dismissed by experts who believe they were tombs for pharaohs. Carson’s campaign also took a hit after repeatedly mispronouncing Hamas, the name of the Palestinian militant organization, as hummus, a popular Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, during a speech to a prominent Republican Jewish group in December.
You can listen to Carson’s Politico interview here: