"In no way did I suggest using drones to kill people," Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Sunday, appearing on CNN's State of the Union. "How ridiculous." Carson rejected the notion that he would use weaponized drones to kill people along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to The Huffington Post.
The presidential hopeful's comments came after a helicopter tour of the U.S.-Mexico border last week in which he met with local law enforcement to discuss illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Carson suggested greater use of drones to patrol border areas after his tour of the region. He said local authorities told him they were completely outgunned and receiving little assistance from federal authorities, according to Yahoo!
Carson also proposed using military strategists and the National Guard to secure the border. Carson went on to say Sunday that he only meant the drones could be used to watch penetrable sections of the border and to shut down the caves that are used to hide people by smugglers, according to CNN. "Drones can help with the surveillance. In no way did I suggest that drones be used to kill people," Carson said.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who rose to political prominence two years ago with his intense attack on President Barack Obama's policies at the National Prayer Breakfast, has rallied among the GOP's conservative Christian base with a cry for greater religious freedoms and his vehement opposition to abortion rights.
Following a well-received performance at the first GOP debate and his frequent criticism of Planned Parenthood, Carson has recently seen interest in his campaign rise. In Tuesday's CNN/ORC national poll, Carson placed third after Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.