Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson declined to say Sunday whether he would bring back waterboarding as part of the fight against terrorism, saying it’s never a good idea to let the enemy know what you’re going to do.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday put Mr. Carson in second place in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, behind businessman Donald Trump, who earlier in the day said he would be OK with bringing back the technique, citing the extremist Islamic State’s brutality.
Many have decried waterboarding, used during President George W. Bush’s war on terrorism, as a form of torture.
“There’s no such thing as political correctness when you’re fighting an enemy who wants to destroy you and everything that you have anything to do with,” Mr. Carson told ABC’s “This Week.” “And I’m not one who is real big on telling the enemy what we’re going to do and what we’re not going to do.”
Mr. Carson said the U.S. needs to increase its surveillance of areas where radicalization can develop, whether it is in a mosque, shopping center or elsewhere.
He also declined to say whether a person on a terrorism watch list should be allowed to buy a gun. Instead, he focused on the difficulty that some people have getting off those lists, and whether it robs them of their constitutional rights.
“There are a lot of people on that watch list and they have no idea why they’re on that list and they’ve been trying to get their names off of it and no one will give them information,” he said. “You know, I am a big supporter of the Second Amendment, and I don’t want to deprive people unnecessarily of that. There needs to be better due process.”