Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson cancels trip to Africa
BY JULIE WHITE
Citing security concerns, the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson stated Thursday that the retired neurosurgeon’s trip that was supposed to take him to Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia starting on December 27, has been canceled. Dr. Carson’s campaign spokesperson Doug Watts confirmed the news Thursday without specifying the nature of the security concerns, only saying it was “recommended by the Secret Service based off of briefings they had had.”
Dr. Carson himself told reporters at a campaign event on Thursday: “There is significant security concerns,” adding “It’s classified information so I’m just going to say it’s too dangerous.”
The planned trip, which would have followed Dr. Carson’s trip last month to Jordan where he met with Syrian refugees, was expected to be another move on the part of the candidate to earn foreign policy credentials which, he conceded, accounts for his sharp decline in the polls of Republican voters over the past several weeks. Once neck-and-neck with Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Dr. Carson now comes third in most opinion polls of Republican voters.
Adding to his numerous blunders that weren’t just about foreign policy, Dr. Carson was recently widely criticized over his mispronouncing of Hamas (the Palestinian group), saying Humus, in a speech before Jewish Republican last week.
Asked by the press Thursday whether the trip cancellation was unwelcome news for this campaign, given sustained criticism for his lack of foreign policy experience, the retired neurosurgeon answered: “I think it’ll make me look smart to not go into some place where there’s a lot of danger.”