Appearing on Meet the Press Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he didn’t think it would appropriate for a Muslim to be president of the United States. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said, “I absolutely would not agree with that.” Carson, an Evangelical Christian who is near the top of most GOP primary polls, also said that the religion of Islam is not consistent with the U.S. Constitution, and that a president’s choice of faith was an important qualifier. “If [that faith is] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter,” he insisted. Carson did say he would consider voting for a Muslim for Congress, depending on what their policies were, and also confirmed that he believed President Obama was both an American citizen and a Christian. Watch the exchange below:
As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake points out, Carson is not alone in these views:
A Gallup poll in June showed 38 percent of Americans said they would not support a Muslim candidate for president. The only less-desirable characteristics tested were being an atheist (40 percent) and a socialist (50 percent). And the GOP is particularly sour on the idea of a Muslim president. While 60 percent overall and 73 percent of Democrats said they could vote for a Muslim, just 45 percent of Republicans said this. Only when it comes to a socialist candidate was there a bigger gap between the two parties.