Celebrated neurosurgeon Ben Carson is sticking by controversial comments comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany and the Affordable Care Act to slavery.
"Nazi Germany experienced something horrible," Carson told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. "The people in Nazi Germany largely didn't believe in what Hitler was doing. But they didn't say anything? Of course not, they kept their mouth shut. The fact that our government is using instruments of government like the IRS to punish its opponents, this is not the kind of thing that is a Democrat or a Republican issue. This is an American issue ... A lot of people do not feel free to express themselves."
The rising conservative star is considering a run for president, and, following new polling showing him second in a crowded field of potential 2016 GOP candidates, is facing additional scrutiny into a number of outlandish statements made last year. Asked on Wednesday whether he would retract or amend the Nazi Germany comparison, Carson said, "absolutely not."
"You are just focusing on the words Nazi Germany and completely missing the point of what I said," Carson told Blitzer. "And that's the problem right now. That's what 'PCism' is all about. You may not say this word regardless of what your point is because if you say that word, I go into a tizzy."
Carson also refused to walk back comments he made in October last year in which he described Obamacare as the "worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery."
"Slavery was a horrible thing and affected many people in horrible ways, some of those effects still present today. So, no, it is not the same as slavery," he said of Obamacare on Wednesday. "However, what needs to be understood here is that the way this country was set up, the people -- we the people were set up at the pinnacle of power in this nation.
"The government is supposed to conform to our will," he added. "By taking the most important thing you have, your health and your health care, and turning that over to the government, you fundamentally shift the power, a huge chunk of it, from the people to the government. This is not the direction that we want the government to go in this nation."
Asked whether other disastrous events in U.S. history, such as the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, would better qualify as the worst thing to happen to the country since slavery, Carson demurred.
"I think it's nonproductive to get into worse than this or worse than that, or maybe it's better than this or better than that. That's not the point of what I'm saying. The point is a major fundamental shift of power has occurred."
Watch the video of his comments above.