Ben Carson Uses Justice Scalia’s Death for a Campaign Ad

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50667958@N02/20753315608/in/photolist-xBUaGm-C7jUoh-orFCmu-qtuZpJ-qb2X8D-qCCmya-paCfbP-o5WLxt-o8Vgbm-ob6Tfb-oaPSZz-o71jPh-oaSYmt-pGkHLa-o5WGoN-oiMCQw-otFWjs-pTETYi-otHw66-orFBjQ-owK4Tv-pf6ShJ-q1RTzP-pA2YFM-p55tM1-pR6ywh-o86Qei-onn6Y5-oiMCYN-pC8fXq-p58eRt-wS4pds-q9XiaL-qWxJew-p5hDnm-oJNjsJ-pW4LkY-ona4eM-qjKBCD-pZpY43-pFxFm4-pUUGhK-q7hKA2-pPUADN-nNgsZe-qz5p6p-pXpQno-qzywuM-qJSAuT-rpJUy7">Paul Lynch</a>/Flickr

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


All the Republican presidential candidates have seized on the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to make the case for electing one of their own next fall, but Ben Carson is the first of this lot to exploit the justice’s passing for a radio ad. In a spot running on conservative talk radio in South Carolina, a narrator declares that Scalia’s unrelenting opposition to affirmative action was a defining part of his legacy and then promises that Carson will carry the torch for the late justice by promoting “compassionate action” if elected president.

Scalia believed that “we are just one race—American,” the ad begins. Then it continues:

He thought affirmative action was wrong. That racial entitlement preserves the way of thinking that produced slavery, racial privilege, and hatred. More than anyone else running for president, Dr. Ben Carson knows about race—and hatred. He was raised in the ghettos of Detroit. He saw the face of hatred, bigotry, and violence firsthand. So when Dr. Carson says we should replace affirmative action with compassionate action, that it’s a fairer way to treat people, we should listen to him.

The ad is consistent with what Carson has been saying throughout the campaign—that left-wing “political correctness” poses a greater threat to the United States than, say, the structural racism that affirmative action seeks to address. And with this radio spot, the only African American candidate in the race is seeking to win back GOP voters by citing the fellow whom many conservatives embraced as their movement’s most prominent anti-PC crusader. As the ad notes—in something of a non sequitur—”Judge Scalia’s life has taught us, if you’ve lived the life you believe in, you’ve earned the right to speak about what it has taught you. The rest is just political correctness.”

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $200,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, this week so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $200,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, this week so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate