Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson says he would not agree with putting a Muslim in the Oval Office, telling "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd on Sunday that he doesn't believe Islam is consistent with the Constitution.
The Republican presidential candidate said that he doesn't feel the same way about having a Muslim in Congress, but it would depend on "who that Muslim is and what their policies are."
Carson, who is currently neck-and-neck with Donald Trump in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination, made the remarks in response to a question about Trump's controversial handling of a town hall questioner.
From the transcript:
CHUCK TODD: Let me wrap this up by finally dealing with what's been going on, Donald Trump, and a deal with a questioner that claimed that the president was Muslim. Let me ask you the question this way. Should a President's faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters?
BEN CARSON: Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it's inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem.
CHUCK TODD: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?
BEN CARSON: No, I don't, I do not.
CHUCK TODD: So you--
BEN CARSON: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.
CHUCK TODD: And would you ever consider voting for a Muslim for Congress?
BEN CARSON: Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says, you know. And, you know, if there's somebody who's of any faith, but they say things, and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed, and bring peace and harmony, then I'm with them.
CHUCK TODD: And I take it you believe the president was born in the United States and is a Christian?
BEN CARSON: I believe that he is. I have no reason to doubt what he says.