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Mitchell: Dr. Ben Carson misses opportunity to inspire

Dr. Ben Carson has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. | Getty Images

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CLEVELAND — Dr. Ben Carson’s speech at the Republican National Convention is a good example of what makes a lot of Americans think Trump supporters are scary.

During his failed presidential campaign, Carson, a brilliant neurosurgeon, was often mocked on late-night TV shows for his low-key debate performances.

But at the Republican National Convention, Carson gave one of the wackiest speeches that has probably ever been delivered at a political convention.

By the time Carson spoke late Tuesday night, a parade of speakers had accused Hillary Clinton of every crime imaginable, including abusing women.

Chris Christie, New Jersey’s governor, even fired up delegates with a mock prosecution of Clinton.

But Carson took the cake when the devout Christian associated Clinton’s admiration for Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky with the devil.

OPINION

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“He wrote a book called ‘Rules for Radicals.’ On the dedication page, it acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom,” Carson told the fired-up crowd. “Are we willing to elect someone as president who has as [her] role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?”

It was utter nonsense.

In an exclusive interview a few hours before the speech, Carson sounded like a reasonable man.

For instance, I asked him what he thought Trump could do to attract more African-American voters.

“I think he needs to actually reach out to them and explain to them some of the economic programs that he is working on,” Carson told me.

The former presidential candidate suggested that a six-month hiatus on the corporate income tax could fund the biggest stimulus in America since the “New Deal” without costing taxpayers.

“It would get corporate America to start thinking about how they invest in the communities around them. They’ve gotten out of the business of doing that because they’ve left it to the government and the government’s not done a great job of it,” he said.

His response to a question about the Black Lives Matter Movement was what I expected.

“If they are really concerned about black lives, I want them to start talking about the No. 1 cause of homicides amongst blacks and that is abortion. And I want them to start talking about the tremendous number of homicides that occur in our inner cities,” Carson said.

But, unfortunately, like many of the speakers at the Republican National Convention, he delivered a message with little substance and too much fear and loathing.

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