Carson gets warm reception in BR during LABI address

Ben Carson, a rising conservative star and potential 2016 presidential candidate, addressed education, tax and budget reform among other national issues as the keynote speaker of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s 2015 annual meeting this afternoon.

With his address today, Carson appeared to be laying the foundation of what could be his 2016 stump speech, calling for a repeal of Obamacare, criticizing President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration and knocking the president’s recently announced push to provide two years of free community college to all Americans.

Calling business and industry one of the major backbones of American society, Carson stressed the importance of deregulation and bringing jobs back home.

“What is keeping the most dynamic economic engine that the world has ever known from performing? Regulations,” Carson said. “People have to be so concerned with regulations they can hardly breath.”

He also called on business and industry to invest in their communities and be the drivers of education reform.

“The answer is never more government support on anything,” Carson said. “Business and industry can take more interest in what is going on with students.”

Carson says economic growth, smaller government, and fostering energy creation and exportation are three key components to restoring America to greatness. He called on environmental protection agencies to work together with industry to use energy efficiently and not suppress energy development.

“A smart government creates an environment that is conducive for businesses to thrive, but not ours,” Carson says.

Carson’s address was well received by the those at LABI’s annual meeting, which was held at the Crowne Plaza and included a large number of local business leaders as well as elected officials from state and local government.

When asked about a possible run for the White House in 2016, Carson told the audience it is something he is “seriously considering.”

Despite his hope for a quiet retirement filled with golf and reading, Carson said, he realized he couldn’t “turn his back” on his fellow Americans after he was propelled onto the national stage following his highly publicized address at last year’s 61st Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

“Plus I thought, maybe the best way to get golf practice is to run for president,” he quipped.

—Gabrielle Braud

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