Ben Carson Calls Annual Debt Limit Battle 'Stupid'

| by Jared Keever
Ben CarsonBen Carson

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Sunday that the annual fight in Congress over raising the debt ceiling is “a stupid way to run a government.”

During Carson's appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation" on Oct. 11, host John Dickerson asked about the coming showdown. 

“What should Congress do about raising the debt limit in early November, when it is set to expire?” Dickerson asked.

“If I were in charge right now I would not cause us to default on that, but what I would say is this is the last time that's happening,” Carson answered. “And we would tie the raising of that debt limit to some very significant actions so that we are not here again next year. This is something that happens year after year after year.

"We always get right up to the deadline. Now it's do or die, and you're forced to do it. And that's a stupid way to run a government.”

Dickerson prefaced his question about the debt limit, telling Carson, “There’s been a little confusion about your position on that.”

The host was likely referring to Carson’s Oct. 7 appearance on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” radio show in which Carson responded to Kai Ryssdal’s question about the debt ceiling by talking about the federal budget. 

“Let me put it this way: If I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget,” Carson told Ryssdal. “Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut.”

“To be clear, it's increasing the debt limit, not the budget, but I want to make sure I understand you,” Ryssdal responded. “You'd let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit.”

“No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, ‘Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we're not raising any spending limits, period,’” Carson said. 

Prior to his Oct. 11 appearance on “Face the Nation” Carson had also appeared on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” attempting to clarify his position. 

He told MSNBC on Oct. 9 that, if he were elected president, he would make sure the debt ceiling problem was solved before it came up for its annual debate in Congress. 

“If I was president, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Carson said. ”I would have – long before we got to this stage – been looking at that and looking at other things because we always end up in the same situation.

"Your back’s against the wall, you got to do it right now or we’re going to die, you know – you know, it’s the same crap every year. Why do we keep doing it?”

Sources: CBS News, Marketplace, MSNBC

Photo credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr, iprimages/Flickr