WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson referred to himself as potentially the first African-American president, saying President Barack Obama had many non-black influences growing up and was "raised white."
Carson made the comments to Politico's Glenn Thrush in a podcast recorded Saturday and released Tuesday.
"Like most Americans, I was proud that we broke the color barrier when [Obama] was elected, but I also recognize that his experience and my experience are night-and-day different. He didn't grow up like I grew up by any stretch of the imagination... He's an African American. He was, you know, raised white. Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch."
Carson was born in Detroit to black parents. Obama was born in Honolulu to a white mother and a black, Kenyan father, and spent age 6 to 10 in Indonesia.
Carson added he has been a victim of racism, largely from progressives and not from Republicans.
"I think the way that I'm treated, you know, by the left is racism," he told Thrush. "Because they assume because you're black, you have to think a certain way. And if you don't think that way, you're 'Uncle Tom,' you're worthy of every horrible epithet they can come up with; whereas, if I weren't black, then I would just be a Republican. I don't find any particular problem being an African American in the Republican Party. ... I know that in the progressive side of things, they like to say that the Republicans are racist. I know that. I haven't experienced that."