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Story highlights

Ben Carson said concentrating on leaked Donald Trump tapes were detracting from key policy issues

He added that he had heard similar lewd conversations in the past

(CNN) —  

Ben Carson said Tuesday “of course” he’s heard similar language from other people along the lines of the recently surfaced lewd and sexually aggressive comments from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“I’ve heard people talking like that. Of course. Are you kidding me?” the former Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “As I was growing up, people were always trying to talk about their sexual conquests and trying to make themselves appear like Casanova.”

Carson, who supports Trump, said that at the time they were recorded – nearly 11 years ago – the Republican presidential candidate was a “billionaire playboy,” adding that he had personally heard people speaking in a similar manner about women in the past.

Trump was married to his third wife, Melania, at the time.

RELATED: Donald Trump: ‘The shackles have been taken off me’

When Keilar said she had never heard such lewd comments made, Carson said: “Maybe that’s the problem.”

“Whether they’ve heard it or not, the issue is the train that’s going off the cliff. We can come back after we save the country, after we save the country from going off the cliff,” he said.

Carson said that conversation surrounding the leaked audio – and accompanying media coverage – were detracting voters from more pressing concerns, such as college debt and rising taxes.

Trump campaign co-chair: Trump made lewd comments before recent faith journey

With under a month remaining until Election Day, Carson said Trump must concentrate on leavening key issues and platforms, instead of responding to statements he made more than a decade ago.

“It’s probably not what I would be concentrating on right now,” Carson said. “The place where Donald Trump is going to win is on the issues. Why not concentrate on what two out of three Americans are concerned about? That’s the direction of the country. That’s one he can win easily.”