Ben Carson Declines to Support Trump's Claim on Being Best President for African Americans Since Lincoln
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is not backing President Donald Trump's claims that he has done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln.
In a recent interview with Fox News, Trump, 74, said, “I've done more for the Black community than any other president, and let’s take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good… although it’s always questionable."
On Sunday, Carson, 68, was asked about the president's comparisons to Lincoln during an interview with This Week's George Stephanopolous, and said a debate over Trump's accomplishments for the African American community was not "productive."
Instead, Carson chose to highlight several initiatives that Trump's administration has done to seemingly benefit African Americans. “The opportunity zones were designed to bring money into areas that are traditionally neglected,” the former Republican presidential candidate said. “It has been quite successful. Prison reform has been quite successful.”
Stephanopolous, 59, then asked if Trump should "stop making that comparison," citing former presidents Lyndon B. Jonhson, Ulysses Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, all of whom assisted the African American communities during their respective terms.
"All of which is a significant part of our history and that's an important thing for us to acknowledge, what has happened in the past, and we should be willing to look at what we've done together collectively to make progress," Carson said.
This is not the first time that Carson — the only African American cabinet secretary in the Trump administration — has opted not to speak out against the president.
In February, Carson insisted that Trump was not racist when introducing the president at an Opportunity Zone program event in North Carolina. “He’s a man who is deeply driven by a sense of kindness and compassion,” Carson said, according to Politico. “People say he’s a racist. He is not a racist.”
“You know, talking to the people who drive the cars and park the cars at Mar-a-Lago, they love him — the people who wash the dishes, because he’s kind and compassionate,” Carson reportedly said, adding, “When he bought Mar-a-Lago, he was the one who fought for Jews and blacks to be included in the clubs that were trying to exclude them. You know, people say he’s a racist, he is not a racist.”
Throughout his presidency, Trump has been accused of making many racist remarks and failing to support the African American community.
Most recently, the president has been hit with criticism over his handling of the nationwide protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in May at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.