Donald Trump has earned his place in the race for the White House as a man of "significant accomplishment," Dr. Ben Carson, himself a GOP candidate in 2016, said Wednesday morning on CNN.
Carson said he is happy to be potentially sharing a debate stage with Trump, and that he welcomes him to the race.
"He’s obviously a man of significant accomplishment, and we have a process whereby a lot of different individuals will have an opportunity to place forth their vision of what America should be, and we can analyze that vision with respect to what they have done in their lives and make a decision — that’s the beauty of the American political system," Carson told CNN "New Day"
host Chris Cuomo.
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Trump is in second place in a new poll
about the GOP field in New Hampshire, and Carson noted that "the numbers are going to jump around," but he's still happy for the real estate mogul.
Carson also discussed America's controversy over the Confederate flag
, saying people are fighting "wars" against each other and he is concerned that such divisions make the United States seem like a "dysfunctional society."
"Just because we have a disagreement about something, it doesn't make us mortal enemies," the retired neurosurgeon told Cuomo. "We already have people on the outside who want to destroy us. Why do we want to destroy ourselves?"
Meanwhile, the controversy over whether Confederate flags should be eliminated following last week's killings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston has divided GOP candidates, and Carson, the sole African-American running for office, said he is not going to second-guess his challengers' opinions on the issue.
"I think everybody responds in a way they feel is the most acceptable," he said. "I never try to predict or analyze what people are thinking. I think what we as Americans have to keep in mind, this is a pluralistic society. We have to live together."
He said earlier this week that the flag "causes a lot of people angst and they are not able to see beyond that."
Carson also spoke to CNN of moving into his Maryland home and having a neighbor put up a large Confederate flag in protest. Other neighbors, though, put up American flags and eventually, the man with the Confederate flag took his down, Carson said.
Carson told Cuomo that it is important that candidates and others not be afraid to have discussions about matters that are important in the country. In a Monday opinion piece for USA Today,
he did blast those who are blaming the attack on the church by 21-year-old Dylann Roof on anything but race.
"Not everything is about race in this country," Carson wrote. "But when it is about race, then it just is. So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag walks into a historic black church and guns down nine African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads one to believe his motivations are based in racism.
"When the sole adult survivor of the ordeal reports that the killer shouted before opening fire, 'You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go' — well, that sounds to me a lot like racial hatred."
However, Carson on Wednesday told Cuomo that he would not talk about a question on calls that have been made to remove the gay rights rainbow flag from display, telling him that was a discussion for another day.
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