Fox News contributor Ben Carson challenged host Bill O'Reilly on Thursday over the seriousness of America's domestic violence problem. Expressing his uncertainty about the rate of violence against women during a discussion about Ray Rice, Carson explained that the public should not be so quick to judge domestic abusers.
"I'm not sure that demonizing people is ever the right thing to do," Carson said, reiterating a sentiment he shared earlier in the week (and contradicting his view that "it is right to discriminate against gays").
He added, "The reason we all feel that way [about Ray Rice] is because it was such a despicable thing. This is somebody who he loves, and he pummeled her with enough force it could have killed her."
"But doctor, do you know how many millions of men do that?" O'Reilly interrupted. "It's not an isolated deal. It's a terrible plague."
“I’m not sure that’s true,” Carson responded.
“I’m telling you," O'Reilly interjected again. "Battery against women in this country and around the world is just out of control."
"This one was far out of control," Carson said. "I'm not advocating that he not be punished for it. What I’m saying is, for someone to do something like that who has everything going for them, it means that there’s some real deep psychological issues."
“No doubt about it,” O’Reilly said. “Again, I want to send the message that I do believe this is a plague, this violence against women all over the world.”
“No question,” Carson said, despite his uncertainty earlier in the program. “It’s a big problem.”
According to the Department of Justice, the majority of American women report having experienced some form of physical violence over the course of their lives.
Watch Carson debating the prevalence of domestic violence on The O'Reilly Factor below:
(h/t Raw Story)