Ben Carson’s Super Awkward CNN Phoner

Refuses to answer whether the LGBT community faces discrimination in the U.S.

Screen-Shot-2015-06-11-at-1.43.04-PMCNN has been a bit of a stumbling block for GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson.

In March, New Day co-host Chris Cuomo pressed Carson on the issue of LGBT rights, which resulted in the candidate suggesting that prison turned men gay. On Thursday afternoon, things got pretty “hashtag awkward” (looking at you, Jim Acosta) again during a phone interview between CNN’s Brianna Keilar and the 2016 hopeful. Right off the bat, Keilar asked Carson whether he believed gay Americans faced discrimination.

“I don’t really want to talk about the gay issue,” responded Carson. “Except maybe you can get the answer for this question: what position can a person take who has no animosity toward gay people, that believes in the traditional definition of marriage that would be acceptable?”

Insisting that as a presidential candidate, the question was a fair one, Keilar asked the same question.

“I’ve made my opinion quite clear on this issue. I think the Constitution protects every single American, and everybody has equal rights–nobody has extra rights,” Carson said, continuing to dodge the question.

Keilar tried a third time.

“Everybody should be protected against discrimination…” responded a disinterested Carson. “Can we move on to something more important?”

“No, you haven’t answered my question. Are gay Americans discriminated against? It’s a very simple question. I’m just asking for you to clarify your remarks,” Keilar demanded, referring to Carson’s interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, in which Carson was “irritated” with the notion that LGBT rights were being compared to the Civil Right movement.

“I just said, everybody needs to be protected from discrimination,” said Carson. “Everybody probably has someone that discriminates against them ’cause there are people with small minds who think that way.”

Let’s try this a fifth time… “So, you think gay Americans are discriminated against?”

“I’m saying every group faces some type of discrimination,” said Carson, trying to take the narrative in a different direction. “Christians face a lot of discrimination. I wish we would talk more about that.”

Sixth… “So, do you not want to talk about discrimination against gay Americans?”

“I just gave you an answer,” ended Carson.

Watch the interview, courtesy of CNN.

Publish date: June 11, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT