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tv   Conversation with HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson  CSPAN  September 15, 2017 8:00pm-8:36pm EDT

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washington is in american history to the close of. and we -- exclusive. and we should it today to introduce into c-span's city tour. where we have traveled to u.s. cities bring in the literary scene and historic sites to our viewers. you can watch more of her visits at c-span profiling interview with dr. ben carson. remarks on today's terror attack in london from british prime minister theresa may and president trump. later, the discussion about the state of u.s. transatlantic relations with europe. >> next, c-span's profile interview with ann carson. -- ben carson. he talks about the childhood challenges he faced and what made him want to become a doctor. this is just over 30 minutes.
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secretary ben carson, i want to talk about your job at hud, but your other job is dr. ben carson. why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine? dr. carson: you used to hear stories about doctors, and they seem to be the most noble places -- people on the earth. i said, that's what i want to do. ien i was eight years old, decided that was the path i would take. obviously, it changed. i went from there to wanting to be a psychiatrist. but then, when i got into medical school, i said, what are you good at? i started examining my life and it realized i had a lot of eye
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hand coordination, the ability to think in three dimensions. i was a very careful person. that led me in that direction. i was an adult neurosurgeon. i quickly migrated toward the kids. i always had this great affinity for young people. steve: what can you tell us about the study of the brain? what did you learn? dr. carson: the human brain is incredible. neurons,llions of hundreds of billions of aterconnections, can process numerous amounts of information in a split second. the very fact, think about all that have two eyes, a nose, mouth, two ears, how many variations can there be in that? yet your brain is able to
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distinguish one from another in thousands of people. in a split second. it's an amazing organ. brain iswith a normal capable of doing almost anything. if you double say, i am not good at math. you just weren't taught math. anybody could be good at math. steve: how many surgeries did you conduct over the years? dr. carson: about 15,000. steve: was one more successful than another? dr. carson: there were some that garnered a lot of attention, but to me, it was more the fact you are intervening in somebody's life. and you have an opportunity to give them a chance at normality. put a price tag on that. when i was running for president, it was one of the
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more wonderful things that i got to see so many of my patients, every state i went to, people would be that. one place, there were 10 of my patients. it was great to see how they were doing. they were children when i operated on them and now they have children. one case in particular really grabbed today. came upcase, a family to me in kentucky and said, do you recognize this young man? i said he looks familiar as i say that about everybody. said, you operated on him when he was one year old. graduated he just number one in his class from college. i said, oh my gosh. that is so wonderful. steve: you also separated conjoined twins, is that correct? dr. carson: yes. steve: how did you do that?
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dr. carson: they were joined at the head where there was a confluence of blood vessels, which is quite nobody could do it before. but we used a technique where he cooled the body until the heart stops pumping blood out, then cut through the vessels, reconstruct them, then pop it back into the body. that was the first time twins had actually survive. they did have brain damage subsequently because they developed that infections, -- bad infections, but they survived a long time. steve: the state of the american health care today is what? dr. carson: it is something that could be improved if we really stopped and thought about it. what was the purpose of health insurance in the beginning? it was to keep you from losing the farm if you got severely ill or injured.
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growve allowed it to just and mushroom to the point where, if we have a hangnail, it ought to be taken care of by insurance. that leads to an enormously bloated system. that's what we have. trying to we keep patch it up, we are not going to get anywhere or it we need to go back -- anywhere. we need to go back to the basics. we need to put health care providers in the center of it. there because get there are so many special interest groups involved in the system we do have. it doesn't work for the people, but it works for special interests. steve: you are now on the inside. what do you think of washington? dr. carson: there is an attempt to change it.
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this is not a republican or democrat thing, it is an entrenched bureaucracy that works for various people. byis not what was intended the founders of our nation. any attempt to change it back to peopleng that is by the will be met with the human resistance. steve: what prepared you for this job? dr. carson: a lot of things. i don't think god asks you to do something you are not prepared for. as a child, growing up seeing what happens to people who are insecure in their housing, even experience and that myself, until some relatives took us in, recognizing the incredible work of my mother so we could have our own place. and the reassurance that gave
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me. those are important things. physicianworking as a . it is hard to try to give children a second chance at life just to put them back into a horrible environment. that bothered me tremendously. now having an opportunity to change that. also, having an opportunity to take the division of the ettrick nursing at john hopkins which -- pediatric nursing at john hopkins, which wasn't even on the map. that took a lot of work and coordinating. businessr on, in the sphere, working for 18 years as a director and 16 years at cosco , starting a national nonprofit
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which came successful. those things gave me a lot of organizational skills. how do you do things? how do you manage large groups of people? how do you get things done? steve: this is a headline. on't make housing for the poor cozy." is that accurate? dr. carson: not at all. but i'm used to inaccurate headlines. we were at a housing district and they said they were able to get people out in less than 30 days, more than three times faster than it is nationally. but what they did instead of concentrating on all the uncooked or months is they concentrated on how to get
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people out there and self-sufficient again. what they had was ok, but not plus. i said that makes a lot of sense. and a new york times reporter said, we can make some hay out of this. steve: has the present treated pressirly or unfairly? -- treated you fairly or unfairly? it's hard for them to treat you fairly if you don't do something for them. we are restructuring very significantly. getting rid of a lot of redundancies and regulations. well, whench, meant you stack one regulation on top of another, you create a situation where instead of going b, all of a to point
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that cost a lot of money. then you realize significant savings. when you take those stuff out. then there is a tremendous need for affordable housing and you begin to insert things like the ramp program, where we ring private money and makes it in with -- bring in private money and makes it in with the public money. program, inted that 2010, we were looking at one to four, in terms of revit to public dollars. now we are at one to 19. we are able to do tremendous things, over $4 billion of private money has come it. having said that, by doing
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things in a more efficient way, whatever moneys we have, whatever final budget we have, we will use that in an efficient way. steve: this department is 52 years old. what is the mission of hud and what is the future? dr. carson: the mission is to provide safe, affordable housing. and it has to be quality housing for people. wantn addition to that, we to build communities, complete communities. instead of stuffing people into a house. you need to have educational facilities there. you need to have a mechanism that allows people to become employee of a. -- employable. you can't have food deserts. you can't incentivize grocery
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stores. it has to be a safe environment. you have to have a complete nurturing community. that is why we are restructuring things here, because otherwise we just continue down the same road. and what we wind up with is complacent to be in the same public housing that their mother or grandmother was in. not saying anything bad about their mother or grandmother, i understand you have to say that now. but what i am saying, is that we want to create letters of opportunity so people can move and once again recapture the american dream and start thinking about what they can do, not what they can't do, and not what someone else needs to do for them. steve: you grew up in detroit
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and there are only about to lead people in the 1960's. people in the 1960's. how would you apply your case study to those people? dr. carson: it was once the most prosperous city in america and then it became most encrypt city in america. cityhappened -- bankrupt in america. what happened? i will say it became a place where people became more and more dependent upon others, upon the government to do things for them. instead of creating startedities, we just handing things to people. we didn't spend enough time thinking about the educational facilities and what kind of education were we giving the
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children. i am a strong believer that if you give a person a good education, they write their own ticket. it doesn't matter where you put them. when you don't, you'll end up with situations like we have in detroit and a lot of our cities. we have to pay more attention to that in the future because we are in a nation that only has 330 million people. a quarter of what china has, what india has. we have to compete with them. we have to get bang for the buck. we have to develop our people and get serious about this. we cannot use them as ponds for political gain. steve: how do we get there? what is the role of washington and government? dr. carson: they have to work together. you have seen a coordinated effort with hurricane harvey and irma. we have to have the same seriousness when we think about
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education that we will provide for our children. and when we think about the development of our people. we have a lot of people who could be developed. i look at the fact we have 5% of population,world but 25% of the inmates. think about all that lost potential. a lot of those people who end up in the penal system, they grew up in a horrible environment. probably with no authority figure in their lives. the first authority figure they run into is a policeman, in a case it doesn't work out and they end up in this situation that is not nurturing. we need to spend time thinking about, are there things we can do to educate those people? they go in with no education and
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little skills, they come out with no education or little skills. let's give them skills and education and options. start working while they are in prison and build a resume. what kind of person are they? so they become attractive to employers coming out every these are things -- coming out. these are things that could help tremendously. there are a lot of people in jail who are very smart. they just haven't had the right opportunities. we need to be thinking about the particularly in our inner cities, now everywhere. there are so many young girls that get it. usually after the first baby, their education stops. we want to give them an opportunity to get their ged, their bachelors degree, master's degree, learn to be self-sufficient. and teach their children to
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break the cycle of poverty. one of the things we are doing is envisioned centers. without the vision, the people perish. what do they want to do when they go up? you might get five answers, but there are a thousand what do you have to do to get there -- thousand. what do you have to do to get there? low opportunity children have a much higher graduation rate from .igh school o there was a well-publicized study that said there were three things that could be done that would limit a person's likelihood of living in poverty to 2% o. graduate from high school, get married, wait until you are
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married until you have children. you analyze those things and say, what are those things telling us about not living in poverty? those are the kinds of things you apply to your policies and programs. steve: i would assume many are from broken homes. dr. carson: many are from broken homes without question. steve: you were eight years old when your parents separated? dr. carson: correct. steve: what do you are member about that time? dr. carson: i was devastated. i was constantly training. -- praying. in those days, divorce was not nearly as common as it was now. it never did work out. but my mother was a very special person. she absolutely refused to be a victim. she came from and an enormous family in rural tennessee, that married at 13. years later, she discovered her
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husband was a bigamist. but she absolutely refused to be a victim and she didn't let us be victims. she made us read books as we were terrible students. these people who live in these fancy houses, they don't spend their time watching tv. they read books and plan and strategize. if it were today's world, we probably would have called social services and they would have carted her away for child abuse. it made all the difference in the world. i went from a terrible student to top of the class. more importantly, i developed a different vision of who i was, a different vision of the world and what you had to do. experience that steve harvey had.
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both had this idea and we started talking about it. he had been pushing the idea of vision centers, thinking maybe people can call them in vision centers so people wouldn't think we would give them glasses. it's the same thing we used to get when we had extended families who had rural interest and have the ability to nurture children and get them to where they need to be. a lot of children don't have those things and we need to make sure they have them as they are human capital. if we develop them correctly, they become part of the engine and not part of the load. steve: in your book, you wrote that you had a violent temper. dr. carson: i did. steve: can you explain? dr. carson: i think it was because i was thinking about me. it was always about me. someone took my thing, they were
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in my space, i. one day when i was 14 and me, ir teenager angered tried to stab him with a camping knife. fortunately he had a large belt buckle on and my knife broke. he was terrified but i was more terrified because i tried to take somebody's life over nothing. that had a profound effect over me. i locked myself in the bathroom started taking about my life. i turned my life around academically. becomezed i would never a doctor with a temperate like that of it my options would be -- like that. my options would be jail reform or the great. i said lord, help me. there were a lot of verses in the bible about anger. also, other passages.
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i stayed in their praying and contemplating and reading and just came to the understanding that to react violently was not a sign of strength. it was a sign of weakness. it meant you could be manipulated easily bite your environment and people in your environment of it -- by your environment and people in your environment. , he did notquestion have a temper like that, until they found the parade article my thing in which my mother did an interview. did you hit your mother with a hammer? i tried to. my brother caught it from behind.
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that shows you how out of control i was. steve: you go to medical school and and up at john hopkins. then you give a speech at a prayer breakfast. how did that come about? dr. carson: when they ask me, i said, this was a mistake. i wasn't aware anyone did it twice. then i find out one person did do it twice, billy graham. i said, that is pretty good company. i didn't know what i was supposed to say, but i knew i was supposed to do something. there are getting nervous because they wanted to see my speech. sorry, i don't have it. i didn't know what i would say until the morning of the speech. was what was on my heart and what came to me because i was so frightened by what was happening to our country with political correctness. a government programs
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imposing themselves on the people. history, a student of i recently had written a book with my wife called "america the beautiful", and recognizing the idea and where we were going and how foreign that was to the initial thoughts about what this country was, i spoke about that. some said, that was offensive. i said, it is only offensive if it is applied to you. if it didn't apply to you, it wouldn't be offensive. i never expected it to have the impact that it did. people were saying, you should one for president. -- run for president. i said, don't be ridiculous. i figured it would go away. but it didn't go away. by that time, i had all these
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, 500 thousand petitions, i could barely get in my office. i said, maybe i should listen. that is how that impacted my life. steve: what was it like to run for president? dr. carson: i found out that america is full of very good people. all over. people with a lot of common sense. i learned that i enjoyed interacting with those people. it was an amazing experience as i rose through the ranks. frontrunner status and having all these reporters following you every place he went. the thing that impacted me the most was the feeling that we have to get away from all of
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thathorrible divisiveness is destroying our nation. house divided against itself cannot stand. it never will stand. it is as much of a danger to our country as any nuclear weapon from an enemy. but many people blame the president for that divisiveness. dr. carson: you are going to have people blaming everybody. we all need to take a step back and say, can we work together? can we reach across the aisle? does it have to be seen as something weird and strange because you want to talk about it with the other side? the fact of the matter is, this is another thing i have learned by talking to people, we are not that different. democrats, republicans, independents. nine out of 10 things, we are
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aligned. and yet we allow certain people, certain elements to stir us up. in the third grade and everybody is having a good time playing and that a guy comes out and say, did you hear what he said about your mama? this is the situation we are in and we have to stop listening to this person and deal with real issues. converse in an intelligent fashion, i'm convinced we can solve our problems. steve: what is your interaction like with the president? dr. carson: we are very friendly. he and i, philosophically, are very much on the same page. personality wise, we are very different. steve: do you want to elaborate? dr. carson: he has a much more forceful personality. i tend to be relatively gentle.
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but i think that forceful personality is probably something that is very much needed in this setting we are in right now because the direction we have been going in, we have been going in for 50 years. and it's not necessarily a good direction. it requires a strong now the to turn the boat around. steve: how did you meet your wife? dr. carson: we were both from detroit but we had to go to new haven, to yale, to meet each other. we were both poor and we wanted to come home for things giving. -- thanksgiving. we were recruiting for the schools so they would pay our way home. we liked each other, but nothing formal until we were on our way back to new haven. we drove all the way back to get there and fell asleep at the
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atel, going off the highway 90 miles per hour. it should have flipped over, but it started spinning like a top. life startsr flashing before your eyes and it did. we pulled off just as an 18 wheeler was coming through it we . we were both very awake. that was the night we started going together. we have three sons, one got married in 2011, and three grandchildren so far. steve: what is that like? dr. carson: it's wonderful. they say it's the price for what you get for not killing your children.
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they are all successful and healthy, which is a tremendous blessing. steve: what is the learning curve like for you? dr. carson: it has had to go much faster than usual because i still don't have a deputy secretary six months into the job and most of the secretary positions have not been filled. hoping that because of these two disasters that have , thated, harvey and irma they will put pressure on congress to go ahead and vote on these cases. they have already been through the confirmation process months ago. and political foolishness is holding them up. we have to look at what is happening to our country and we need a full force to be able to take care of this adequately. steve: any thoughts in terms of what is next? dr. carson: no desire to run for office.
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i want to do this job well. i want to make sure we do the things that provide a significant increase in the amount of affordable housing. reformto make sure we housing finance so that the american dream stays alive. and i want to do what i can to tamp down the hatred that is going on in the country and help people realize we are in the same boat and let's not be so easily manipulated by those who have a different motive. steve: is there one fact about dr. ben carson that may surprise people? dr. carson: probably in the fact that i love to play pool and i love to play pool with my best friend, who is my wife and she has become very good. spendid, if i want to
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quality time with you, i better learn how to play. steve: how do you play? was the secret? dr. carson: concentration. myself, don'to miss easy shots. i make the hard ones sometimes and miss the easy ones. steve: thank you for your time. dr. carson: my pleasure, thank you. >> c-span's washington journal live every date with news and policy issues that impact you. llnday morning, capital hi bureau chief will discuss issues facing the military. a census times health care reporter talks about the future of the affordable care act and defeating proposals announced on capitol hill. on our spotlight on magazine addiction,igns of exploring how addiction affects the brain.
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the sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at some of the eastern saturday morning. join the discussion. join us this weekend as the c-span cities tour, in cooperation with our comcast cable partners takes book tv and american history tv to concorde, new hampshire, as we highlight history and politics of the capital city. saturday at noon eastern on book tv, who will take a look at how it became the first primary state. book, stormy weather. >> we still see ourselves as a place where candidate can rise up from being a virtual unknown to becoming a contender for the nomination. >> on sunday at 2:00 a.m. eastern on american history tv, we too are the statehouse,
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taking a look at the history and state legislature. it has the oldest, continuously used legislative chambers in america. here is the room where the largest state legislature and the united states works and meets. >> than a visit to the home of franklin pierce to learn about the life of the 14th u.s. president watch c-span's cities tv and c-span twos sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3, working with our cable affiliates and cities across the country. now, british prime minister theresa may's brief statement on the london terror attack and her responses to some questions from reporters. prime minister may: clearly this was a device that was intended to cause significant harm and 22 people have been injured are in the hospital.

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