- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Friday traveled to Jordan to get a first-hand look at Syrian refugees in a United Nations-run camp, according to reports.

The Carson campaign said that the trip would improve Mr. Carson’s understanding of the Syrian refugee crisis. The refugees have become a major issue in the presidential campaign because of President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 of them to the United States, despite widespread concern that Islamic State terrorist could be embedded with the refugees.

The visit also serves to burnish Mr. Carson’s foreign policy credentials, which have become a flash-point for detractors of the political newcomer.

He has come come under fire from the left for describing Islamic State terrorists as “rabid dogs” hiding among the refugees.

He also was criticized for saying during a candidates’ debate that China was involved in the Syrian civil war, though his campaign later clarified that he was referring to China’s economic ties to Syria and not China deploying troops.

Mr. Carson, a famous neurosurgeon and top candidate for the GOP nomination, previously acknowledged that he faces a “learning curve” on foreign policy matters.

He will visit a Syrian refugee camp in the northern Jordan town of Azraq, according to the New York Times, which first reported the unannounced trip.

Highlighting his medical prowess, the retired brain surgeon will visit a clinic and hospital at the refugee camps.

“I want to hear some of their stories, I want to hear from some of the officials what their perspective is,” Mr. Carson said, according to the paper. “All of that is extraordinarily useful in terms of formulating an opinion of how to actually solve the problem.”

Mr. Obama’s refugee plan faces widespread opposition, including from Mr. Carson and every Republican presidential candidate, over concerns that Islamic State terrorist could be imbedded with the refugees.

FBI Director James Comey has warned that the government can’t properly vet the refugees, and the Islamic State attack in Paris included a gunman who allegedly entered France posing as a Syrian refugee.

Mr. Obama’s refugee plan faces fierce resistance form governors and lawmakers, who raise concerns about terrorist embedded among the refugees.

A bill to block the plan is working its way through Congress after passing the House with a veto-proof majority. Mr. Obama has vowed to veto the bill.

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