The longtime friend and business manager of 2016 presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has responded to recent criticisms by black journalists, who have attacked Carson's conservative viewpoints as hurting his reputation, by saying that Carson refuses to be shackled by political correctness.
Armstrong Williams, who is a radio talk show host and a Carson confidant, spoke with Newsmax TV's J.D. Hayworth earlier this week and was asked why Carson is getting such a "bad reception" from African-Americans in the media.
Hayworth brought up talk show host and author Tavis Smiley, who said on Fox News in May that the retired world-renowned neurosurgeon is like a "black bull in a Republican China shop" and that he'd "call for an intervention to stop him from doing what he's doing to himself and his reputation."
Also in May, syndicated African-American columnist Cynthia Tucker wrote that that Carson "will likely be remembered as the GOP's latest black mascot, a court jester, a minstrel show. He'll be the Herman Cain of 2016."
Williams responded by saying that those "establishment" media members don't want Carson, who has become notorious for issuing controversial comments and comparisons, to freely speak his mind about what he feels is best for the nation.
"Obviously, these are establishment journalists, they feel Dr. Carson, who happens to also be an American who is black, there are certain things he should not believe or subscribe to and they don't want him to be truly free and speak what he believes," the 56-year-old Williams explained. "They want him to still have some shackles in certain areas."
Carson does not bow to political pressure or a party agenda, Armstrong added.
"Dr. Carson refuses to be anybody's slave, anybody's puppet," Williams continued. "He knows what he believes. He believes he knows what works and what can work better and so he is not going to be defined in some box that somebody can check off."
Williams added that Carson was an advisor to the Obama administration, but his personal views on healthcare clashed with what high-ranking White House officials thought was best in the name of political correctness.
Because Carson had a desire to change the way the administration was establishing America's current healthcare system, Williams said Carson wanted tell the president that he was being misguided on the healthcare front.
Williams said Carson finally got that opportunity at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast in a keynote speech where he bashed Obamacare right in front of the president's face, which many believe launched the doctor into political relevance among conservatives.
"So Dr. Carson, when he had the opportunity to speak at the prayer breakfast, what people don't realize is that for the longest time he always said, 'If I could just talk to the president, if I could just tell him what is wrong with healthcare because I think he is being misled by well-meaning people but I think he needs to do what is for the greater good and I need to tell him.'"
Hayworth recalled the speech as the moment some people began viewing Carson as a presidential contender.
"That speech got such a tremendous reception and arguably was the launching pad as people started to think about Dr. Carson as perhaps a candidate for the presidency," Hayworth commented.
Hayworth then asked Williams what has led to Carson's rise in popularity early on in the presidential race, citing a Quinnipiac poll that had Carson among the top-five most popular Republican presidential candidates.
Williams said that it is because over Carson's medical career, he has helped and spoken with people of all faiths, races, social classes and wealth and has derived his political opinions from "listening" to the American people.
"Dr. Carson in his legendary career as a pediatric neurosurgeon, has operated, counseled medically, heads of states, monarchies, leaders, common people, everyday people in the inner city," Williams explained. "Through those 30-plus years as a leading, world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, he has had a chance to talk about a lot of things with a lot of families as they prep for the operation and after the operation. There are a lot of things that they have talked about and it gave him such a vast education of the world and where people are."