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Ben Carson Delivers Speech At Liberty University Convocation

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: I'm Sam Sanders in Lynchburg, Va., with Ben Carson. The candidate spoke this morning at the Christian Liberty University. For Carson, it was a safe space. Former prisoner of war George Rodgers introduced him this way.


GEORGE RODGERS: There's enough votes in this area...


RODGERS: ...To put Dr. Carson in the White House.


SANDERS: Carson talked about overcoming personal struggles with God's help. He riffed on why he doesn't believe in the Big Bang Theory. And when he was asked to give advice to students, Carson quoted Scripture.


BEN CARSON: My advice would be Proverbs 3:5 - 6. It says...


CARSON: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.


SANDERS: Even when it came to talking policy, again, Carson incorporated his faith. As he often does on the trail, he talked about a 10 percent flat tax. Carson said it was similar to the Christian idea of tithing 10 percent to God.

CARSON: You know, the reason I liken it to tithing is because I believe that God is the fairest individual that there is, and if he thought it was fair, I think it must be pretty fair, you know?


SANDERS: A lot of Liberty students said they enjoyed the speech and that they like Carson and his belief. But one student said it was not enough.

TIM EFFREM: He isn't very specific, still.

SANDERS: That's Tim Effrem, a senior at Liberty.

EFFREM: He's a nice man. He's a strong Christian, but he likely doesn't have the ideas and the plans that he needs to become president.

SANDERS: He was unsatisfied with Carson's flat tax comments. At a Q&A a few hours later, I told Dr. Carson about Effrem's critique and asked how he'd respond.

CARSON: It wasn't an exhaustive discussion on the flat tax. And in a general speech, you generally don't have enough time to go through a whole litany of issues.

SANDERS: But at some point, he might have to do just that. Sam Sanders, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.
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