“It’s hard to keep all that political mumbo-jumbo terminology straight sometimes!” thought Ben Carson as he wrapped up another stellar interview this week.

The full transcript of an interview with American Public Media’s Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal was released on Wednesday, and it sure is a doozy. In it, Carson displays a stunning lack of knowledge about a pretty basic bit of U.S. legislation.

Ryssdal kicked off the topic by asking the Republican presidential hopeful whether he thought that Congress and the president should not raise the debt ceiling, the legislative limit on the amount of debt that can be issued by the U.S. Treasury, and default on the country’s debt.

Carson: Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut.

Ryssdal tries again, clarifying that he’s discussing the debt limit, not the budget. “You’d let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit,” he challenges.

Carson: No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, “Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period.”

Exasperated, Ryssdal gives it one last push, leading a horse to water who just doesn’t want to drink.

Ryssdal: I’m gonna try one more time, sir. This is debt that’s already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?

Carson: What I’m saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops. You’re always gonna ask the same question every year. And we’re just gonna keep going down that pathway. That’s one of the things I think that the people are tired of.

Perhaps Carson simply forgot the meaning of the phrase “debt limit” that day. That’s okay! He sure knows a lot about brains.

Read the full interview here.

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