Dr. Benjamin Carson won over conservatives when he railed against many of the big government policies endorsed by President Barack Obama during the National Prayer Breakfast last week, at which the president was in attendance.
However, the newly discovered conservative hero is also getting his first taste of criticism from the left who say his speech was inappropriate and even offensive. On Monday, he appeared on Fox News' "Your World" with Neil Cavuto to respond to his critics.
"What we need to do is we need to be able to discuss intelligent ways of solving the multitude of problems that threatens to destroy our nation. And there are a group of people who would like to silence everybody and have everybody go along to get along, but that’s not going to be very helpful for us in the long run," Carson said.
"Somebody has to be courageous enough to stand up to the bullies," he added.
When asked why he took it upon himself to go "beyond medical policy" and address issues like tax policy, Carson went back to the Declaration of Independence to make his point.
“One of the things I also said during the speech, there will be some people who will say, but you’re a doctor and you’re a surgeon. You should be sticking to that," Carson explained. "And I mentioned the fact that five physicians signed the Declaration of Independence and were involved in the framing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and several other things."
He continued: "There’s absolutely no reason at all that physicians, scientists, shouldn’t be involved in things that affect all of us. We’re people who've learned how to make decisions based on facts, empirical data, rather than on ideology. And one of the geniuses — one of the real things that made us a great nation — is that we brought people from all backgrounds into the legislative process."
The doctor also said the support for President Obama's health care law is low within the medical community.
“I know a lot of doctors. I work with a lot of doctors, and I didn’t find a lot of support for it. I find a lot of people who were really quite disappointed," he said. "It’s an expansion of the bureaucracy."
And of course, Cavuto couldn't help but ask him about a possible 2016 run for president. Fox News host Sean Hannity asked the doctor the same thing.
"I’ve had people telling me that for many years now. If I had a nickel for everybody who told me that, I could finance my campaign," Carson joked. "I’ve always said if God grabs me by the collar and sticks me in that arena, that’s the only way that I’ll do it."
Finally, the renown neurosurgeon announced that he plans to retire from surgery in June to teach, because "an uneducated populace will fall for anything" and knowledge is so important in understanding the problems facing America.