Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson proposed went from complaining about the size of the federal government on Wednesday to wanting to expand it with an agency that would direct employees to spy on each other, the Associated Press reported.
Carson said during an appearance in Iowa that he is “seriously thinking” about adding “a covert division of people who look like the people in this room, who monitor what government people do” if he were to be elected president.
“We’d make it possible to fire government people,” he explained, prompting the crowd to applaud. “I think just knowing that that person who came in the door might be one of those people would have a profound effect on the efficiency of the government.
Carson, a former neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, announced his idea after saying he wanted to change the government from a “behemoth” to a “well-run business.”
“Right now, it is incredibly inefficient,” he argued.
He also proposed the creation of a 300-member “citizens council,” which he said would represent the interest of “ordinary citizens.” He did not delineate how it would be different from the existing Congress, other than to state that, if elected, he would tell lawmakers in a joint session that “we work for the people; they don’t work for us.”
Carson’s statement came days after his campaign team lost four senior members, including campaign chair Terry Giles.
“Things happen, man,” Carson’s business manager, Armstrong Williams, told the Washington Post. “That’s the way life works. You start out with one idea, hoping it all works out, and then you get a better understanding of what needs to happen. Remember, we’re not necessarily a group of political people.”
Watch Carson’s remarks, as posted online on Wednesday, below.