Ben Carson Addresses Syria Crisis In Scottsdale Speech

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Friday, December 4, 2015 - 4:48pm
Updated: Monday, December 7, 2015 - 8:26am
Jude Joffe-Block
Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson addresses the ALEC conference in Scottsdale.

Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson was in Scottsdale on Friday. He addressed conservative state legislators and members of the business community at the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC.

Carson’s critics have said he isn’t strong on foreign policy. But international issues were a major theme in his remarks. Carson said there was no reason for the United States to take in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees because there are millions of refugees, and it would barely make a difference.

He said all that would do is “make some people feel good about themselves.”

Carson repeated a story he’s told in recent days on the campaign trail about a visit to Jordan he made at the end of November. He said he spoke with Syrian refugees there, and asked them where they wanted to go.

“And I got a pretty consistent answer: We would like to be resettled in our own country,” Carson said. “I didn’t hear anybody say, I want to go to America!”

Carson said the fact that one of the suspected San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik, had been vetted to come into the U.S. should end the debate over letting in refugees.

“We shouldn’t even have to talk about this anymore," Carson said.

However, Malik reportedly came in through a different visa program with a different vetting process than what is required of refugees.

Carson also addressed domestic issues, including a flat tax, school choice and making colleges pay the interest on student loans.

He proposed allowing people to pay back fines and traffic tickets in incremental payments so they would not face warrants and possible arrests if they were unable to pay the whole expense at once. Carson said this kind of sensitivity is needed to prevent poor people from snowballing into a cycle of poverty and jail.

Carson was the final keynote speaker at the ALEC conference, which brings together legislators and members of the private sector to draft model legislation promoting fiscally conservative policies and limited government. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey addressed the conference earlier this week.