Ben Carson: When I said Obamacare was worse than slavery, I should have said worse than 9/11
Ben Carson speaks to NBC on May 18, 2014. [Screenshot]

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Republican presidential hopeful and Fox News contributor Ben Carson said that the Affordable Care Act -- also known as "Obamacare" -- is worse for the U.S. than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Carson made headlines last fall when he told the assembled crowd at the 2013 Values Voters Summit that Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

The conservative darling was promoting his new book One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future when he agreed to speak to the Beast's Evan Gahr, who asked, "You said Obamacare was the worst thing since slavery. Why do you think it was worse than 9/11?”

“Because 9/11 is an isolated incident,” Carson replied.

Gahr was attempting to interview Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon turned conservative activist, in the Sirius XM studios of talk radio host Armstrong Williams, who is reportedly acting as Carson's business manager. The Daily Beast writer portrayed the discussion with Carson as being frequently interrupted and derailed by Williams' interjections.

"Who do you think caused families more pain -- Obamacare or Osama bin Laden?” asked Gahr.

Carson: “Let me explain.”

Williams: “Let him answer the question!”

Carson: “Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift.”

Me: “Right. But what do you think caused specific families more pain -- Obamacare or Osama?”

Carson: “You have to take a long term.”

Me: “You’re not answering the question.”

Carson: “Will you listen? You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America. You have to be someone who reads. Who is well-read. I want you to go back tonight and pull out what Saul Alinsky says about health care under the control of the government.”

At that point, Williams abruptly ended the interview.

At last weekend's Republican Leadership Conference, the party's straw poll chose Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as the party's avatar for the 2016 race. Not far behind Cruz, however, was Carson.

Factoring in the party establishment's pointed disdain for Cruz, one could easily make a case that Carson might find himself anointed to run in 2016 against the Democratic nominee, who many presume will be former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

Kentucky Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul (R) and Fox News host Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) finished fourth and fifth in the conference poll.