Ben Carson: Uneducated voters a 'threat'

Story highlights

  • Ben Carson says his rivals aren't his biggest threat in the presidential election -- it's uneducated voters
  • "I see the threat being the fact that people sometimes are not well educated," Carson said

Washington (CNN)Ben Carson said his Republican rivals aren't his biggest threat in the presidential election -- it's uneducated voters.

The retired neurosurgeon and Republican candidate for president was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "Wolf" Wednesday whether he sees front-runner Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as a bigger threat to him in the GOP primary, and Carson said neither.
    "I see the threat being the fact that people sometimes are not well educated," Carson said.
    He cited "man-on-the-street" style interviews, where individuals are asked questions about basic general knowledge topics.
    "They don't have a clue what you're talking about, and yet these are people who vote," Carson said.
    He added that the answer is for voters to become knowledgeable about the candidates.
    "I implore people to really inform yourself about who the candidates are, inform yourself of what their positions are," he said, pointing viewers to his campaign website.
    Carson also dismissed Trump's announcement that he would skip Thursday's GOP debate, calling it "show business" and saying the race was bigger than any individual candidate.
    "I'm not sure that it matters that much, because it's not really about me or Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or any of the candidates, it's about the American people and our ability to talk to them about the critical issues," Carson said. "Unless we address the real issues and get away from all this peripheral show business, we're not going to make it."
    He also expressed doubt over the front-runner's commitment to his decision, saying he wasn't sure it would actually happen.
    As for Trump's strength in Iowa, Carson wouldn't agree with Cruz's assessment that Trump would be "unstoppable" if he wins, but he did admit he would be formidable.
    "I don't know that anybody is ever unstoppable, but that certainly would provide a great deal of momentum," Carson said. "But you know, that would be the same with anybody who wins both of those early primaries or certainly if they won all three (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina."
    Blitzer also asked about the plan Carson released Wednesday to stop ISIS, which Carson said was a combination of listening to military advisers and keeping ISIS "on the run."
    But Carson said the fight against ISIS also takes place at home.
    "Over here we have to close the borders," he said. "We need to tighten our control of ports and airports, and also our northern border particularly since (Canadian Prime Minster Justin) Trudeau has decided that it's OK to bring tens of thousands of Syrians into Canada. Some of them will be infiltrated with jihadists."
    Carson said the answer was not a temporary ban on all foreign Muslims entering the United States, as Trump has called for, but said the U.S. needs to be "smarter" about who it lets in.