Donald Trump: No apology for questioning Ben Carson’s Seventh-day Adventist faith

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Carson says he doesn’t want to end Medicare, defends against another Trump attack.

Ben Carson said Sunday that he no longer wants to dismantle Medicare and defended the policy switch, while also responding to the latest attack from fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.GOP Frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to John Dickerson on Face the Nation about Iowa poll numbers, GOP competitors, and Congress’ upcoming debt ceiling vote.Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Sunday he won’t apologize to opponent Ben Carson for comments he made that seemed to call into question the retired neurosurgeon’s Seventh-day Adventist faith.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican voters view Donald Trump as their strongest general election candidate, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that highlights the sharp contrast between the party’s voters and its top professionals regarding the billionaire businessman’s ultimate political strength. Carson, who leads Trump in Iowa, according to new polls, acknowledged that months ago he indeed wanted to end Medicare but said he changed his mind after talking to a lot of economists. ABC’s This Week host, George Stephanopoulos, asked Trump, who is a Presbyterian, about a potential apology for what he said at a Florida rally Saturday: “I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about.” “Well, I didn’t say anything bad about it. Seven in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say Trump could win in November 2016 if he is nominated, and that’s the most who say so of any candidate.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, said he now prefers so-called health savings accounts as an alternative to Medicare, the government-subsidies medical insurance for retirees. By comparison, 6 in 10 say the same for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who, like Trump, has tapped into the powerful wave of antiestablishment anger defining the early phases of the 2016 contest. “It’s the lifelong establishment politicians on both sides that rub me the wrong way,” said registered Republican Joe Selig, a 60-year-old carpenter from Vallejo, California. “I think Trump is more electable. And a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows him trailing Carson by 8 percentage points among Republican voters in Iowa, partial to social conservative candidates.

All I said was I don’t know about it.” Carson, who had called for an apology, hit back at Trump on Sunday in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, disputing Trump’s characterization of his persona as “low energy.” “I will tell you, in terms of energy, I’m not sure that there’s anybody else running who’s spent 18 or 20 hours intently operating on somebody,” Carson quipped. We need strength these days.” Trump and Carson are considered among the least electable general election candidates by the Republican Party’s professionals, those who are in the business of helping candidates run campaigns and win elections. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventists, which some conservatives think are not Christians. “The program that I have outlined … largely eliminates the need for people to be dependent on government programs like that,” Carson said. “I would never get rid of the programs.

The GOP’s most conservative voters — a group that is older and whiter than the nation as a whole — wield extraordinary influence in picking the nominee. Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals during his announcement speech; while Carson said he would not support a Muslim presidential candidate. “Republicans think (Democrat) Hillary (Rodham Clinton) is weaker than she is.

They are wrong,” said GOP operative Katie Packer, who was deputy campaign manager for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney. “They think we don’t need to win more women or more Hispanics to win. Jeb Bush, who has embraced a welcoming tone with Hispanics, tops the field of experienced political leaders on the question of electability, running about even with Carson and slightly behind Trump. Carson and Trump are the candidates most likely to receive positive ratings from Republican voters, with 65 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of Carson and 58 percent saying the same of Trump. Republicans are somewhat less excited about Bush, with 48 percent giving him a favorable rating. “If he weren’t a Bush, I wouldn’t even know his name,” said Republican Leslie Millican, a 34-year-old housewife from Magnolia, Arkansas. “I like the other Bushes.

By an overwhelming 77 percent to 22 percent margin, Republican registered voters and leaners say they prefer an outsider candidate who will change how things are done, rather than someone with experience in Washington who can get things done. Perhaps that helps explain why Democrats prefer experience over outsider status, 67 percent to 32 percent, and experience in office over private sector experience 66 percent to 33 percent. Republican strategist John Feehery says Trump is considered electable now only because he hasn’t yet been the subject of a multimillion dollar negative ad campaign, which will happen should he maintain his lead in the polls.

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