Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Ben Carson

Nebraska attorney David Begley must be nearing the end of his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us; the Iowa caucuses will be held on February 1. Yesterday Dave attended the appearance of Ben Carson Council Bluffs, Iowa. Dave’s report is below:

On a cold night less than a week before Christmas, Dr. Ben Carson returned to Council Bluffs. Since is he is now polling in fourth place, the full Secret Service treatment was in effect with maybe a dozen officers protecting him. The room was full at 200 people.

No one should doubt Dr. Carson’s work ethic and desire to win this race. Since the Las Vegas debate he has made many appearances in Iowa. As they say in basketball, he is leaving it all on the court.

My July account is here. He made some updates to his stump speech based upon events.

His polling must show that his quiet manner is reducing his numbers compared to Trump’s. He cannot change his fundamentally calm demeanor so he makes the case that voters should not think he is weak just because he is not loud. “Decibels are not equal to strength.” He claims to be a strong leader. He points to his impressive accomplishments against significant odds. He created the number one ranked pediatric neurosurgery department at Johns Hopkins. CNN named him one of the top 100 doctors and scientists. He has been awarded 67 honorary doctorates. He then contrasted himself to the other candidates as “talkers and not doers.”

The other main addition from his July speech is the increased danger from terrorism. He said that we are in a cultural war and a war with ISIS. People are frightened now because the government doesn’t understand the danger of radical Islam.

On another topical note regarding the massive budget deal of this week, he objected to the increase in spending and the full funding of Planned Parenthood. He asked who was Congress representing.

From his stump speech in July he repeated the claim that he is a healer who would cure the divisions in our country. Carson remarked that if he wanted intentionally to destroy America he would divide us among ourselves, degrade the family and faith, and run up a huge debt. The result would be a small elite at the top, a smaller middle class and a large mass of people at the bottom dependent upon the government. Hmmmm. Sounds like Obama’s America.

He also hit several economic points in his stump speech. In fact, economics was his main theme. The federal debt to GDP ratio is 103 percent and at 90 percent economists say the economy slows. He wants a flat tax and not the Buffett Rule that Hillary pushed in Omaha this week.

He argued that a progressive income tax system would not eliminate income inequality: “That’s not how it works.” And a flat tax would actually increase government revenue as people would have more incentives to work.

Mrs. Carson was there and was introduced to the crowd. A free CD of Christmas music was offered. It is fabulous. Mrs. Carson plays the piano, violin, sings and arranged many of the numbers. If she were First Lady, she could fix music education in America.

I was interviewed before the event by Israeli television. I told the reporter that I was there on behalf of Power Line. She then remarked that I was a journalist. I said that I was not. I was there as a citizen.