Ben Carson calls on media to 'mature'

Posted at 9:17 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-26 00:17:46-04

Presidential candidate Ben Carson called on the media Friday to "mature" and stop mischaracterizing his position on Muslims in public office, saying any believer should be allowed to run for any job.

"Not advocating they run for president in no way precludes them from running," Carson said at the Values Voter Summit, a Christian conference in Washington. He added that he wouldn't be able to disallow them from making a bid, but that he personally could choose not to "advocate" for them.

Carson originally said on Sunday that he believed Islam was not consistent with the Constitution. But since then, he has walked back his remarks and said he would be willing to support a Muslim candidate for the White House who renounced Sharia law.

"Anybody from any faith, from any belief system, who comes to America, becomes an American citizen, embraces our American values and principles and is willing to subjugate their beliefs for our Constitution is somebody I have no problem with," he said.

Carson disagreed that his views had changed, chiding reporters after his well-received remarks Friday for not understanding the thin line between what he personally endorses and what is possible under the law.

"What I said is I wouldn't advocate for them. In no way did I say it was illegal, that they couldn't do it," Carson explained. "Anybody can do anything they want."