Ben Carson campaigns in Lexington, says Americans have lost can- - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ben Carson campaigns in Lexington, says Americans have lost can-do attitude

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson made a campaign stop in Lexington, Monday, becoming the first of the Republican presidential candidates to campaign in Kentucky.

Carson's campaign says a thousand people registered for the event, and several hundred showed up to see him at a Lexington fitness center. He is looking for votes ahead of Kentucky's first-ever Republican caucus this Saturday.

In his low-key style, Carson criticized government programs that he says have eroded America's can-do spirit.

"In the old days, when we had the can-do attitude, most people would have taken just the opposite tact: they would've said I'm gonna take this minimum wage job, because I'm gonna learn some new skills, I'm gonna meet people, I'm gonna get opportunities, I'm gonna climb the ladder, and I'm gonna be much better off. That was the can-do attitude, that's been replaced with the what can you for me attitude."

Carson also explained why he got into the race for the White House in the first place. 

"I really didn't want to do it, but pretty soon I had hundreds of thousands of petitions in my office -- I could barely get in there," Carson said. "And I finally said, Lord if you want me to do this, you have to open the doors because all the pundits, all the political experts say it is impossible."

He also criticized the nasty tone of the presidential campaign, comparing the last debate to a fight between gladiators in Ancient Rome.

“As somebody stabbed someone or someone cuts someone’s head off, or a lion ripped somebody apart, and they're cheering about it. This is where we've gotten, unfortunately. And I pray to God that we can wake up before it's too late,” Carson told the crowd of several hundred.

While Carson did not mention any of his rivals by name, he warned against choosing a president based on fear, an apparent reference to supporters of Donald Trump.

“Typically, people who are frightened and angry do not make good decisions. And it's very important that we calm down, and actually start thinking logically,” he said.

It's the kind of message Carson fans hope will resonate as the campaign enters a critical phase.

“Well, he's probably the most honest of all the candidates left,” said Brent Gupton.

“He's truthful, he's honest. He's not phony, and we need that,” said Elizabeth Slusser

But national polls show Carson lagging way behind. And WDRB News asked him if he's just too nice to be president.

“No. There's no such thing as too nice a guy. Being nice doesn't mean you're not tough,” said Carson.

During his campaign for Governor, Matt Bevin said he could support Ben Carson for president. But there's been no official endorsement from now-Governor Bevin or any other prominent Kentuckian.

Carson is headed to Virginia next, ahead of Super Tuesday.

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