White House repeatedly asked Dr. Ben Carson for transcripts of prayer breakfast speech

Dr. Ben Carson of Johns Hopkins University made a splash at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. He philosophically challenged the White House on taxes and health care in a way that garnered mass exposure but in a religiously-grounded way that never directly mentioned the president. But the speech he gave might not have happened if he had honored multiple requests by the Obama administration to turn over the full text beforehand.

“‘I told them that I don’t have an advance copy because I don’t write out my speeches and I don’t use teleprompters … they asked more than once … I gave them the [biblical] texts around which the remarks would be framed … I said read those texts, the remarks will be framed around those … that should have told them something,’” Dr. Carson said in an interview with The Hill.


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Dr. Carson’s speech has been seen almost 3 million times on YouTube, raised his national exposure and prompted an editorial in The Wall Street Journal on the prospect of his running for president.

After the speech, Dr. Carson said Vice President Joseph R. Biden clammed up. Mr. Biden mustered a “Nice being with you” afterward, according to Dr. Carson.

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