Ben Carson Talks Poverty and Inequality with Iowa Republicans

May 5, 2015

Recently declared GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson spoke Tuesday at a lunch gathering of Iowa Republicans at the Embassy Club in downtown Des Moines.  This is the retired pediatric neurosurgeon's first visit to Iowa since announcing Monday he plans to seek the Republican nomination for president.

Carson is the only GOP African American presidential candidate. He grew up in poverty and was raised by a single mother in Detroit.

“We must make that pathway [out of poverty] much clearer,” says Carson. “It needs to be business and industry and academia and Wall Street and churches and community groups. They have to be the ones who do it. It can’t be the government. The government doesn’t know how to do it. They may even have good intentions, I don’t know. But they throw money at things and nothing happens.”

Carson also outlined his thoughts on government subsidies and regulation. He says subsidies interfere with the free market economy, and that regulation hinders entrepreneurs. 

"There are $2 trillion overseas that we could repatriate to this country," said Carson. "You want to talk about a stimulus? That would be a real stimulus, it wouldn't cost us a dime. Just give them a tax vacation and let them bring that money back."

Prior to entering politics, Carson was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is the first physician to successfully separate conjoined twins that were connected at the head.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will be in Iowa Wednesday and Thursday. He announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination Tuesday in his hometown of Hope, Ark.