Ben Carson emphasizes importance of voting during Phoenix rally

Retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson confronted the importance of fiscal responsibility, honing down on illegal immigration and eliminating big government during his speech Tuesday evening at the Phoenix Convention Center.

An estimated 10,000 people attended the event: one of the largest crowds Carson has garnered throughout his campaign. The crowd had almost double the amount of supporters as Trump's rally in July.

Despite claims that Carson is inadequate for presidency due to his inexperience, he is currently second in the polls, trailing behind business billionaire Donald Trump. 

The event was relocated to the Convention Center in downtown Phoenix after an overwhelming number of confirmations.

Carson began his address by stating he is running to serve the people of the United States. 

Carson is the third major presidential candidate to visit Phoenix this summer. See how his address compares:

Bernie Sanders speaks about income inequality to his largest audience yet at Phoenix rally

Thousands gather at Phoenix Convention Center for Donald Trump rally

"There's only one special interest group and that is the American people," Carson said. "This country is designed for the people, of, for and by the people. The government was sent for one purpose, and one purpose only, and that was to facilitate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the people."

The candidate explained President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act is the just the beginning of bad "big changes" to the country. 

Though he didn't offer specific reforms to the act, he stated it is in the hands of the American people to change the direction of the country.

On immigration, Carson said we not only need to control the Southern border to prevent further illegal immigration, but every border of the country, adding that illegal immigrants are coming from all over the world –– not just Mexico. 

The former pediatric neurosurgeon offered a resolution for the unfair pay he said illegal immigrants receive, claiming he'd grant them access to work as "guest workers."

Carson also discussed bias within the media. He said "the only thing the media provides is comic relief."

He said the Constitution protects the press in order for the press to properly inform the people, but it's currently not doing it's job. 

"(The press) enables the side that they pick to ignore the Constitution," he said.

Carson also spoke about the fiscal responsibility of the country, claiming that Founding Father Thomas Jefferson would be unhappy with the rising debt. He explained the severity of the country's fiscal gap — telling the attendees to read about the problem from multiple sources. 

To decrease the size of the gap, Carson proposed the government should "lessen the amount of unfounded liabilities" and increase revenue. 

He also elaborated on his plan to decrease taxes for businesses and individuals. He explained that the current tax code for corporations is "74,000 pages long." 

Carson proposed a more biblical version of the tax code. 

"God's pretty fair," he said, jokingly. 

Carson concluded his address by encouraging the audience to vote. 

"I have one task for each of you," he said. "We have in our country, in 2012, 93 million people who didn't vote who could've voted, 30 million evangelicals who didn't vote. You need to convince people by not voting, they are voting, but they are voting in the wrong direction."


Reach the reporter at ambice@asu.edu or follow @alliebice on Twitter.

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