Asked by New Day anchor Chris Cuomo if gayness is a choice, Carson said:
"Absolutely. Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
It's a fiery statement, without the fire. (He also notably said in that same interview that he has learned from his mistakes that he needs to tone down some of his rhetoric. Lesson not learned).
There's always been a gap between what he says and how he says it. Carson, who tends to speak softly and prefers short sentences, often sounds like a man explaining complex topics to a small child. His pacing is deliberate and precise. He sounds exactly like the surgeon he is.
But that type of bedside manner isn't great for a political campaign where a candidate must channel and rouse emotions. I've written before about how Carson has inspired a cult-like following among conservatives. His books sell out in Christian bookstores, and before his Fox News contract was canceled, he was a regular on that network. At last week's CPAC, he effectively tied for third place with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).
But in the fundraising race, Carson isn't likely to come close to the top-tier candidates. His viability as a long-shot candidate will be based on his ability to catch fire, earn free media and have memorable showings on a debate stage. Mike Huckabee and Herman Cain, both ministers, were able to do that in the last cycles, because they spoke forcefully and in quotable soundbites. They were both good salesmen -- 9-9-9! -- and Carson is not, at least not yet.
If he wants to keep competing with the likes of Cruz, he will have to ratchet up his political presentation, or risk being drowned out by more forceful and inspiring contenders.