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Dr. Ben Carson: U.S. government intimidating its 'opponents'

A CNN/ORC poll found that 10 percent of Republicans would like Dr. Ben Carson to be the 2016 candidate, putting him behind only Mitt Romney.

By Frances Burns

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Dr. Ben Carson charged Wednesday the United States has undergone "a fundamental shift of power" from the people to the government.

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Carson said he would not change remarks he made in March to the conservative website Breitbart.com comparing the United States to Nazi Germany. He suggested that critics focused too much on his language and not on the content of what he said.

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A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 10 percent of Republican voters would like Carson to be the party's presidential nominee in 2016. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who lost the 2012 election, was in first place with 20 percent, while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee trailed Carson with 9 percent, 8 percent and 7 percent.

Romney has said he will not run. If he was not in the mix, Bush moved into first place with Carson still in second and only 3 percentage points behind.

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Carson grew up in Detroit in the 1960s and went on to become a neurosurgeon -- the first to separate twins joined at the head. His outspoken conservative views have recently made him a hero to many Republicans.

In the Breitbart interview, Carson said "we now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe" and suggested the U.S. government, like the Nazi government, is trying to "intimidate the population." He told Blitzer the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies are being used by the government "to punish its opponents."

"The point of what I'm saying...is a major fundamental shift of power has occurred," he said.

"If we continue down that road the United States of America becomes something very different than it was intended to be," he added.

Carson said he would announce by May 1 if he is a presidential candidate.

Jonathan S. Tobin, in a column in the conservative Commentary magazine, suggested Carson has no hope of winning. He said that as a candidate the doctor is in an impossible bind.

"Carson may now think he has to sound more presidential but the moment he stops becoming a sound-bite machine and starts talking more like a normal politician who understands he will be held accountable for everything he says, he's in trouble," Tobin concluded. "Judging by that exchange, Carson's presidential push may end a lot sooner than his good poll numbers would lead you to think."

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