Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended his lack of government experience Sunday by saying he’s got “real-life experience” that trumps the many politicians who he said don’t understand real life.
Mr. Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, has been heralded by conservatives for his outsider status, but he must overcome doubts that an outsider can win a presidential race.
“There have been many people who have been groomed to believe that experience can only come in the political arena, but I’ve got lots of experience — world experience,” Mr. Carson said on “Fox News Sunday.”
He pointed to his experience putting together surgical teams for complex procedures, his running the nationwide Carson Scholarship Fund and his service on the boards of major corporations such as Kellogg’s and Costco.
Mr. Carson grew up in abject poverty in Detroit and went on to become a renowned brain surgeon who devised groundbreaking procedures, including performing the first successful separation of twins conjoined at the head.
“There’s real-life experience and there is politics,” he said. “There are some good people with political experience, but I’m not sure they in many cases understand real life.”
Mr. Carson last week joined a field of Republican presidential contenders that is rapidly growing crowded.
Another political outsider, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, jumped in the race last week, as did former Arkansas Gov. Mike Hukabee. They joined Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Other Republicans, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, are expected to enter the race.