NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson caused a stir Tuesday when he said that President Barack Obama was “raised white.”
The former pediatric neurosurgeon made the comment during an interview with Politico.
“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 said.
Carson revealed that he didn’t get a sense of pride when Obama became the first black president.
“You know, I did not,” he told Politico. “I mean, like most Americans, I was proud that we broke the color barrier when he 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.”
Carson doubled-down on his comments in an interview with CNN Tuesday afternoon.
“I grew up in Detroit, and I grew up in Boston. In Boston, we lived in the ghetto. There were a lot of violent episodes there. There were rats, there were roaches. It was dire poverty,” Carson told CNN. “Now, let me contrast that to the president, who went to private schools, grew up in a relatively affluent environment, had an opportunity to live in multiple cultures and different countries. I think that’s a very different experience.”
Obama, who was born in Hawaii, had a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya. When he was young, the president lived in Indonesia for a few years.