By John Celock
Scottsdale, Ariz. – In a speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council Friday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson outlined a platform that calls for the elimination of ISIS funding, a promotion of school choice and reduction of government regulation.
Carson, the physician who has surged in early polls on the strength of conservative primary voters, told the group of state lawmakers gathered here that he believes that divisive attacks instead of a civil debate has been hurting the United States. He said that the left has not encouraged civil discourse on issues, saying that a return to civil discourse on issues would allow for the country to be more united.
“There are radicalized jihadists who want to destroy us, why make it easier for them to destroy us,”
Carson said that he believes that the left does now want to have a civil discourse on issues, rather saying that they believe “that if you disagree with someone than you should destroy them.” Carson also criticized the news media, saying that journalists have sided with liberals in the public policy debate. He said he hopes that the media focuses on unbiased reporting.
Carson dedicated part of his speech to this week’s shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. and the FBI’s classifying the case as a terrorism investigation. He noted that since one of the shooters had entered the country from Pakistan under the current vetting procedures from the federal government, it was a sign that the vetting program needs to be reformed before letting Syrian refugees into the country.
In addition, Carson highlighted his recent trip to Syria and Jordan and noted that he believes that the best way to reduce ISIS is take away the lands controlled by ISIS and their funding supply.
Carson spent part of his speech focused on education issues, including calling for an increased focus on STEM education and the use of virtual classrooms. He also emphasized local control of education.
“Common Core needs to go,” Carson said, noting that the federal government has used the program to focus too much on educational issues.
Carson called for the reduction of college debt, saying that the debt load has made it harder for recent graduates to find jobs out of college. He briefly outlined a proposal to have the colleges assume the payments of the interest on student loans, while the students pay for the principal.
The student loan issue has been gaining support from both parties in recent months, with a variety of plans outlined on either side on how to address the issue.
Carson also called for the reduction of government regulation and the restructuring of federal agencies in order to help the business community. One of the plans he noted was to have the Environmental Protection Agency focus on ways to work with the business community on energy production.
“Every regulation costs too much in terms of goods and service,” he said.