CINCINNATI—Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is trying to brush aside questions about his readiness to deal with foreign policy issues, saying he has overseas experience and common sense.
“I’ve been to 57 different countries, I’ve lived abroad, and I have common sense and a brain,” the retired neurosurgeon told reporters Wednesday night in Cincinnati.
Carson also said that the United States should declare war on the extremist Islamic State group and needs public debate of the vetting process for Syrian refugees.
“We don’t want to do anything that’s going to increase the danger to our citizens, but at the time, we want to be compassionate,” he said.
The bloody Paris attacks last week have increased the focus on foreign policy and national security issues for the presidential field. Carson and businessman Donald Trump have been leading many GOP polls, but face questions about their experience.
Carson’s campaign manager, Barry Bennett, said recently that the campaign has been looking to add foreign policy advisers, while adding that Carson is hardly alone in the field on the issue of foreign policy experience.
Carson was in Cincinnati for a private speech appearance. Trump plans to campaign in Columbus on Monday.
Ohio’s primaries are March 15.