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Carson breaks with Bush, backs Voting Rights Act
01:03 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Carson says there's no disadvantage in maintaining the civil rights law

Jeb Bush said he does not support reauthorizing the law as is

Washington CNN  — 

Ben Carson said Thursday that he wants the Voting Rights Act protected, adding he’d like to hear Jeb Bush explain why he does not support its reauthorization.

“Of course I want the Voting Rights Act to be protected. Whether we still need it or not or whether we’ve outgrown the need for it is questionable,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Maybe we have, maybe we haven’t. But I wouldn’t jeopardize it.”

Bush’s opposition to reauthorization falls in line with most Republicans, who say the law is out of date and overbearing on states who want to change their own rules. Proponents of the law say it is still needed to protect minorities.

RELATED: Jeb Bush opposes reauthorizing Voting Rights Act

“There’s been dramatic improvement in access to voting – exponentially better improvement,” Bush said in Iowa earlier Thursday. “I don’t think there’s a role for the federal government to play in most places – there could be some – in most places where they did have a constructive role in the ’60s, so I don’t support reauthorizing it as is.”

Bush did not specify how he would change the law.

Carson did not explicitly disagree with Bush, but left the door open to reauthorizing the legislation.

“He may well be right, but I don’t see the disadvantage in maintaining the right,” Carson said.

CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.