Fox News host Eric Bolling criticized conservatives for pushing recent conservative darling Dr. Benjamin Carson as the next Republican presidential nominee. Bolling said that while Carson is "a great conservative" that could have a role in the next Republican administration, he has "no political experience," and "the right is just so desperately grasping for anyone that makes sense, they threw this poor guy into the fire."
Carson has recently been at the center of a controversy over offensive comments he made about marriage equality during an appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News program. Hannity has been at the forefront of Fox News' efforts to recruit Carson as a 2016 candidate.
During an April 1 appearance on Cumulus Media Networks' Geraldo, Bolling was asked to respond to the controversy over Carson's recent remarks on Fox News and replied:
BOLLING: As far as Dr. Carson, yes, a lot of people are saying he's the, you know, he should be the Republican candidate for president in 2016. I've said from the very beginning, on The Five and anywhere else, he's a great conservative. He has a role somewhere in a Republican administration, and a conservative voice, but how in the world can you take a guy who's really had no political experience, maybe just a couple of speeches, and say he's going to be the next Republican candidate for president? The right is just so desperately grasping for anyone that makes sense, they threw this poor guy into the fire.
Now he probably didn't realize that he was walking into the same sort of buzzsaw that some of the other Republicans over, you know, over the last cycle ran into. Look, these aren't the issues. What every Republican should, or conservative should do is focus on the economy. Focus on jobs. Focus on -- the government is taking more and more of your hard-earned tax money and wasting it. Those are the issues that Republicans need to worry about, not the social issues. But he didn't -- again, if he wants to make a run for president, he better get some very, very smart handlers.
Bolling's colleagues at Fox News and The Wall Street Journal -- which, like Fox, is owned by News Corp. -- have devoted substantial time and energy to touting Carson as a Republican presidential contender.
Following Carson's speech at the White House prayer breakfast, The Wall Street Journal ran a February 8 editorial with the headline, "Ben Carson for President." The editorial praised Carson's ideas on the flat tax and health care reform, and concluded: "The Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon may not be politically correct, but he's closer to correct than we've heard in years."
Carson has also appeared frequently as a cable news guest, most prominently on Fox News and Sean Hannity's program. During a February 8 Fox News interview, Hannity asked Carson: "Would you ever run for president, sir? ... I would vote for you in a heartbeat."
Fox News aired an hour-long Hannity February 15 special about Carson prominently featuring his potential 2016 presidential run. Hannity remarked at one point, "Carson 2016 has a nice ring to it." During another segment, Fox News contributor Frank Luntz surveyed "a group of swing voters" for their reaction to Carson as a candidate. Luntz concluded: "There is something about the doctor's message and delivery that really does connect across partisan lines, very impressive." Hannity responded to Luntz: "All right, sounds like Frank may have found some, well, Carson campaign volunteers." Hannity then asked his studio audience, "How many of you would like to see Dr. Carson run? Wow, OK, that's everybody."
Fox & Friends has also interviewed Carson with softballs, and offered oxygen to a potential 2016 run.
During his radio appearance, Bolling was asked for his stance on marriage equality. Bolling replied that he has "a ton of gay friends" including his brother-in-law but then added: "I'm a true conservative, and true conservatives will say marriage is between a man and a woman. I will stand by that as my opinion."