WASHINGTON (AP)—Republican White House contender Ben Carson is refusing to back off his weekend charge that Muslims shouldn’t serve in the presidency.
The political fallout is a distraction at least as the retired neurosurgeon tries to capitalize on recent momentum in the GOP’s 2016 primary election. But it also highlights a sentiment among voters in both parties who agree with Carson’s reluctance to elect a Muslim to the nation’s highest office.
Carson told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” His campaign reported strong fundraising and more than 100,000 new Facebook friends a day later.
Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett says, “Republican primary voters are with us at least 80-20.”