Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Wednesday sought to ameliorate those offended by his assertion that the Holocaust was caused by gun control, penning an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post touting his support for Israel.
Whether Hitler could have been stopped by guns is “something we will never know for sure,” Carson wrote. Last week, he told CNN that “the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed" -- a comment that garnered considerable criticism.
"What I do know however, beyond any shadow of a doubt, is that I never intended for my words to diminish the enormity of the tragedy or in any way to cause any pain for Holocaust survivors or their families," he said in the Post, noting, "Sometimes it is hard to find the right words to talk about the kind of evil that defies reason and destroys lives."
Well-known for his controversial comments, Carson has likened the Affordable Care Act to slavery and the Obama administration to Nazi Germany; just last month, he said he wouldn’t want a Muslim to be president; and last week, he made headlines several times, first for saying that people should fight back against mass gunmen, and later for asserting that homosexuality could lead to polygamy.
In the Wednesday op-ed, Carson says he has visited both Holocaust memorials and Israel, and criticizes current world leaders for not adequately supporting the Jewish state.
“In recent years, personalities and politics have been permitted to negatively affect America’s relationship with Israel despite the fact that the bonds between our two nations are so unique and vital,” he says. “That is precisely why I look forward to my first conversation as President of the United States with the Prime Minister of Israel. On that phone call I will utter four important words that reflect the future direction we will take together: 'Our relationship is restored.'"
In a new Fox News poll, Carson trails front-runner Donald Trump by just one point in the Republican primary race; in the last two months, Carson's support has doubled.