- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon and 2016 GOP presidential contender Ben Carson said some of America’s notoriously wealthy families served in part to spur on European socialism, but also said Europe failed to realize the families’ great contributions to American society.

“America has always been an extraordinarily compassionate nation,” Mr. Carson said on Tuesday evening’s “The Kelly File” on Fox News. “You know, we were the impetus for socialism.”

“Because the Europeans looked over here and they saw the Carnegies and the Mellons and the Fords and the Kelloggs and the Vanderbilts and … they said ‘those people have too much money. We need to have [an] overarching government,’” Mr. Carson said.

“But what they didn’t realize about those names and many others is that instead of just hoarding money, they built the infrastructure of this nation — the transcontinental railroads, the seaports, the textile mills, the factories, providing the mechanism for the most powerful and dynamic middle class the world has ever seen, which rapidly propelled us to the pinnacle,” he said.

“And they also built libraries and museums and charitable organizations,” Mr. Carson said.

Mr. Carson has rocketed to second place in recent polling behind billionaire businessman Donald Trump in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He said his strategy for Wednesday’s Republican debate wasn’t going to change “at all” compared to his strategy for last month’s debate.

“It’s going to be to tell the truth and to talk about my vision for America, which I think is something that a lot of people resonate with,” he said. “The polls are not particularly surprising given the fact that I’m out there amongst the people a lot, and I’ve been seeing the level of enthusiasm and the size of the crowds for quite some time.”

“It hasn’t really been reported on, but we’ve seen it,” he said. “So this is not very surprising.”

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