Ben Carson knows from political correctness.
During a Sunday appearance on Meet the Press, the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential hopeful sought to distinguish the uproar over remarks made by Donald Trump about Fox News host Megyn Kelly from the garden-variety political correctness he often rails against on the campaign trail.
"I think that may be a difference between political correctness and, you know, courteous speech," Carson, 63, said when asked about Trump's characterization of Kelly as having "blood coming out of her wherever."
For Carson, whose own use of metaphors (from slavery to Nazi Germany) has repeatedly come in for criticism, a prime target on the campaign trail is what he views as the overly sensitive reactions from liberals when conservatives "feel free to express themselves."
What made Trump's comments different was their personal nature, Carson said.
"What bothers me is when people say, you know, 'You can't say this word, you can't say this phrase, you can't even think that, you can't express this.' And it's very difficult for people to have an honest conversation if they can't express themselves. But in no way do I advocate, you know, saying mean things about people. That has nothing to do with political correctness," Carson said.
Following Thursday's Republican debate in Cleveland, Carson was the second-most-searched Republican candidate, according to Google. The first was Trump.