Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is refusing to apologize for calling Islam "inconsistent with the values and principles of America" and for saying he would not "advocate" for a Muslim to be president.
Carson's business manager, Armstrong Williams, appeared on CNN Monday to defend the candidate's comment and said, "This is why he's not a politician."
"He was thinking like someone who loves America first, who wants to protect America," Williams said. "He understands that there are tenets of Islam that hate Jews, that kill homosexuals, will kill Muslims, do not advocate belief and value systems that made America into the country that it is today."
CNN's Alisyn Camerota countered that that's only true of the "extremist radical strand" of Islam, and not what millions of American Muslims practice.
Williams doubled down.
"Dr. Carson was asked his opinion. His opinion was, the timing at this point, he would not vote for a Muslim in the White House. This is why he's not a politician. This is why he's not trying to be politically correct. This is America. It's a place of freedom of speech," he said.
Camerota added that America is also a place of "freedom of religion," to which Williams responded that Carson "was not speaking about religion."
"If you see what's going on in the world today, and you ask questions, if you search yourself deeply and ask yourself, at this time in the history of our country, in the question that was posed to him, which he asked and answered truthfully, is that he would not be comfortable with someone who shares the Islamic Muslim faith in the White House," Armstrong said.
Williams added that it isn't about any particular religion, but what an individual believes and what they would advocate for as the commander in chief.
Williams said Carson would not take the comment back, and when asked if he would clarify, Williams responded, "You don't need to clarify what you believe in."
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