Though the statement was met with widespread outrage, the presidential hopeful refused to back down or apologize. Instead, he doubled down, reiterating his point of view the next day, and even defending it.
"Absolutely, I stand by the comments," he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Monday. "What we have to do, we have to recognize that this is America, and we have a Constitution, and we do not put people at the leadership of our country whose faith might interfere with them carrying out the duties of the Constitution."
Carson may have been driven to say this by more than just his principles because, as it turns out, the statement has won his campaign quite a bit of money.
According to Raw Story, the 2016 Committee, one of the super PACs funding Carson’s campaign, sent an email to supporters asking them to back the candidate’s response to Todd after the interview. In just 12 hours, the PAC received donations from 400 people amounting to $31,000.
"We sent out an email to Carson supporters, and we’ve never had an email raise so much money so quickly – it’s unbelievable," 2016 Committee chair John Philip Sousa IV said. "My phone has exploded over the last 48 hours – of people wanting to pass on to Dr. Carson how much they respect his truthfulness and believe in the American system, and how absolutely not should anyone who believes in Sharia law come close to the White House."
Possibly motivated by the influx of money, the Carson campaign sent out another email on Wednesday in which the GOP contender pledged "I will not back down." Campaign communications director Doug Watts told NBC News that $300,000 flowed in from donors two hours after the emails were sent.
It’s not just donations that have seen a spike in the campaign. Carson’s support appears to have soared as he emphasizes his stance against "political correctness." He recently drew applause from a crowd of 3,000 at Spring Arbor University when he said he would not give away his "values" for the "sake of political correctness."
With both Trump and Carson soaring in the polls after making highly controversial — and arguably offensive — comments, it seems the winning campaign strategy for Republicans in the 2016 presidential race is fighting so-called “political correctness” for the sake of winning votes and money.
"The people are on Dr. Carson’s side on this one," Sousa said. "Sorry NBC, you lose."
And apparently, so does common sense.