Republican Ben Carson returned to New Hampshire Sunday for his first campaign trip since announcing his presidential bid last week.
Carson is a retired neurosurgeon who has never held elective office, and like many other so-called outsider candidates, he told a crowd at Manchester Community College his lack of political experience was just what the country needed. The top figures in both major parties, Carson said, were often too focused on the next election to address the country’s problems, including the national debt.
“It’s incumbent upon us to know who we have representing us," Carson said. "And if they are people who are voting to raise our debt ceiling and steal the future of our children, we need to vote them out of office, no matter what party they’re in.”
Carson is a social conservative known for his fierce criticism of the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s foreign policy. He called for lower corporate taxes, a reduction in business regulations, and a six month holiday for companies to repatriate money currently overseas.
Carson also outlined a health care plan that could replace the Affordable Care Act: “Provide health savings accounts for everybody, starting the day they’re born," he said. "They would keep them until the day they did. You pay for it with the same dollars that we pay for traditional insurance. The difference with a health savings account is that you pay for it.”
He says those accounts, coupled with catastrophic coverage insurance, would bring the cost of health care down.
While Carson called for a reduction in government spending and a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, he did not embrace some causes championed by conservatives. While he called for more school choice, he said he was not in favor of abolishing the federal Department of Education. Instead, Carson proposed changing the department's mission to boost the so-called STEM disciplines. And he called for the federal government to revive the space program, because of the inventions and innovations that come out of missions.
Carson is popular in conservative circles but lacks broad name recognition. His trip to New Hampshire also includes a morning meet and greet at Blake’s Restaurant in Manchester.