Ben Carson blew it — big time — and he's very, very sorry.
After calling homosexuality a choice in an interview that aired on CNN Wednesday morning, the renowned neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican hopeful issued an apology Wednesday evening via his Facebook page. "In a recent interview on CNN, I realized that my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues," the statement begins, continuing, "I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended."
In the CNN interview, Carson said prisons prove the theory that homosexuality is elective. “A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question,” he said.
Carson’s hard-right politics and bold stances have made him a darling of the far right. But his vocal opposition to marriage equality puts the GOP in a pickle. With a majority of Americans supporting gay marriage, fielding a Republican candidate who so blatantly opposes it is a great way to send swing voters packing.
Still, Carson seems unafraid of the outrage his remarks garner: He routinely promises not to bow to the “P.C. police” and told msnbc in an interview last month that “candor in the long run is one of the few things that can save our nation.”
But if Carson wants to be taken seriously in the realm of politics, he'll have to start concerning himself with public opinion — something he seems to suddenly appreciate. "I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly," Wednesday's apology continues. "No excuses. I deeply regret my statement and I promise you, on this journey, I may err again, but unlike politicians when I make an error I will take full responsibility and never hide or parse words."
Additional reporting by Jane C. Timm