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Ben Carson’s refugee plan: Money spent on ‘Halloween candy’ can spruce up camps for Syrians instead

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GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson argued over the weekend that Syrians would rather stay in refugee camps than be resettled in other countries if the United State could take the money it spent on Halloween candy and use it to provide more international aid.

During a visit to Jordan, Carson explained to several Sunday morning shows that refugees who fled Syria wanted to return to their country instead of coming to the United States.

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“They said the United States and other countries could be much more supportive of the Herculean efforts manifested by the Jordanians in taking in people at a lot of expense to themselves,” Carson explained. “They cannot continue that without help from the international community.”

“You know, you look at last month,” he continued. “We spent $3 billion on Halloween candy. That’s the amount of money needed to bridge the shortfall for a year that they’re having in Jordan with the refugees.”

ABC host Martha Raddatz reminded Carson the U.S. had already spent $4 billion in humanitarian aid.

“So what more can they be doing?” she wondered.

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“You have to go there and see for yourself,” Carson recommended.

“I actually have been to the refugee camps,” Raddatz revealed. “They want to go back to Syria — which doesn’t look possible — or they want to go somewhere else. They want jobs. Do you welcome them into America now?”

Carson, however, insisted that “it would be a completely different story” if the refugee camps had “adequate support.”

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“The people I talked to don’t want to stay there,” Raddatz insisted.

Speaking to Face the Nation on Sunday, Carson reused the Halloween candy talking point.

“The reason that the camps are not full is they are not supported by the international community,” the candidate opined.

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“Your assessment visiting there is that Jordan can take all the refugees?” CBS host John Dickerson asked.

“When I looked at the refugee camps in Jordan, there’s about a $3 billion shortfall annually,” Carson remarked. “That’s how much money we spent last year on Halloween candy.”

Dickerson pressed: “So, make the link between Halloween and the refugees for me? Are you talking about a national fundraising drive?”

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“I’m talking about in terms of the amount of money that it would take,” Carson replied. “My point in comparing it to Halloween candy is to say that this is not a big deal.”

Carson is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church which frowns on Halloween.

“The church’s opposition to the occult and the demonic preclude any support for this type of festival,” Seventh Day Adventist pastor Gerhard Pfandl noted in a column for Perspective Digest. “Participation in Halloween customs may seem innocent fun for children and adults, but it is one more way Satan can use to deceive people into thinking there is no harm in playing a little bit with the world of spirits and demons.”

Watch the video below compiled from ABC’s This Week and CBS’ Meet the Press, broadcast Nov. 29, 2015.

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Elections 2016

Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base

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While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support

The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.

Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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