NEWARK - Political correctness is one of the worst things to hit America, former GOP presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson told about three dozen supporters Sunday in Newark.
And Carson tried to prove his point while stumping for party nominee Donald Trump.
"For thousands of years, we have known what a man is and what a woman is, and now our children are being confused?" Carson asked the group gathered in the rain Sunday afternoon. "Well, I know that you look like a man, and I know that's what your genetics say, but you get up in the morning and you feel like a woman, you're a woman. Give me a break. This is craziness. We can expect more of the same if we continue down this politically correct pathway."
Asked about the characterization later, Carson said he was speaking about the U.S. Supreme Court's influence on individuals' personal lives. He said local government and courts should address same-sex marriage and issues surrounding transgender people.
"There are people who consider themselves to be transgender. That’s not the point," Carson said. "(T)here’s a reason for that because civil issues determine the lifestyle of the people, and you shouldn’t have people making those decisions who are not subject to the will of the people.”
Ohio remains locked in a tight race between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to recent polls, with roughly a week left until Election Day. The Newark stop was one of three Carson made Sunday in Republican-friendly counties, including Coshocton.
Carson had sharp words for fellow Republicans, such as Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman, who are not endorsing Trump: "This election isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about the politically elite establishment and ‘we the people.’ ”
So, is Kasich a member of the political elite?
He did approve of FBI Director James Comey's decision to look into emails found during an investigation into Anthony Weiner, a former New York Congressman and husband of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Trump's campaign cheered the news, and the GOP nominee praised Comey's investigation. Clinton criticized Comey for bringing up a probe just 11 days before Election Day without knowing whether the emails were new or even from Clinton.
"Obviously, nobody is above the law, and people who have done much less than that have been put in jail," Carson said. "So, either she needs to join them or we need to let everybody else out.”
He wasn't impressed with Democrats' plans for America: "The Democratic platform sounds like something from Cuba or some communist country. It really does."
But Democrats see flaws in Trump's policies, as well.
"It's a shame that Ben Carson continues to embrace Donald Trump's divisive campaign after Trump' record of stiffing workers, outsourcing goods and buying Chinese steel over American has been exposed — not to mention his troubling rhetoric about women and even our military," U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, said in a statement.
Carson said he doesn't understand why people, especially Christians, call elections a choice between the "lesser of two evils." Everyone makes difficult choices every day, he said.
"Why would anybody say that who has a brain? It's a reason that you have a brain so that you can choose between the lesser of evils."
Voter Kelly Dodrill likes Carson and Trump because of their frank talk. He worked for TRW Automotive, a Mount Vernon plant that closed in 2010, and sees America as "going to hell in a handbasket." He thinks politicians such as 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Kasich are simply sore losers.
"I'd spit on his grave," Dodrill said of Ohio's governor.
Melinda Woofter, of Granville, said she knows Trump will uphold her Republican ideals. She said he appeals to Ohio workers who have lost their jobs and college students worried about finding jobs. Ohioans need a president who will pick U.S. Supreme Court justices to defend the Second Amendment and tackle the flaws of Obamacare, she said.
"People now feel, at least, someone is speaking for them," she said. "These are concerns that have been around for a long time, but have not been spoken."