Ben Carson was asked a question Monday night at a town hall event in Staten Island by an LGBT activist and appeared thoroughly overwhelmed, unable to muster much of an answer while shaking hands and posing for pictures with supporters.
The question that gave Carson such a tough time: Is being gay a choice?
The Washington Post has the transcript:
"I have a quick question. Do you think I chose to be gay?" the attendee told Carson as he posed for pictures in a small group.
"Did you choose to be gay?" Carson responded, somewhat taken aback back. "That's a long conversation. That’s a long conversation that's going to lead to no answer.”
"I think you’re full of s—t," the questioner responded, smiling.
"Okay,” said Carson, also smiling, as he continued to pose for pictures.
The moment was captured by ABC and posted to Twitter and Facebook.
In March 2015, Carson took to Facebook to apologize for saying being gay is a choice (using prison as his chief example), saying things like "I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation" and "up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality. We do know, however, that we are always born male and female." He closed the apology with an admission of sorts, writing "I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly."
The impromptu Q&A occurred hours after Carson announced a "big shakeup" in his campaign, where Major Gen. Robert F. Dees was introduced as the new campaign manager. Dees talked about what the new direction of the campaign would take, including "Is it about volume or is it about values? Is it about wild proclamations or is it about policy that leads us to moral high ground as Americans?"
While Dees clearly was talking about Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, his comments are very illuminating if viewed through the interaction Carson had later that day.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org