Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson has, at times, seemed a little preoccupied with Nazis. When the GOP candidate, for example, equated modern American life with Nazi Germany, it was evidence of a far-right candidate who was a few steps shy of the mainstream.
But Carson isn’t changing his focus. Yesterday, the retired neurosurgeon was in New Hampshire, once again raising the prospect of a Nazi-like reign over the United States. “If you go back and look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech,” Carson said.
Asked whom he sees as a modern-day equivalent of Hitler, the Republican candidate replied, “I’m not going to go into that. I think the example is pretty clear.”
In reality, isn’t not “clear” at all what in the world this guy is talking about. In fact, Carson’s comments sound like those of someone on the furthest fringes of public life, not a candidate for major national office.
But Carson nevertheless continues to impress the far-right, to the point that Roll Call reports that one congressional Republican sees him as a possible Speaker of the House.
Rep. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Republican who is one of nine founding members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said at a campaign event Sunday he’d be open to supporting an outsider for speaker when the House meets to vote for a new leader Oct. 8.“I would go bold, you don’t have to be a member of Congress to be the speaker of the House. I would support someone like Dr. Carson or somebody like that, I think that would be good,” DeSantis said, referring to Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon and presidential candidate who has seen a boost in polls in recent weeks.
A spokesperson for DeSantis added that the Florida congressman was “just throwing out ideas,” and has “not yet made any commitments in regards to the upcoming leadership elections.”
For what it’s worth, the GOP lawmaker isn’t wrong, at least not about the process. House members can pick anyone for Speaker, and there’s no requirement that the gavel must go to a sitting member. Earlier this year, Rand Paul got a vote for Speaker. In the last Congress, so did Colin Powell.
Carson hasn’t expressed any interest in becoming Speaker, and I’d consider him a distant long shot to replace John Boehner. But what does it say about an elected congressman who sees Carson’s odd antics and effectively says, “That guy is clearly Speaker of the House material”?