Republican debate: CNN anchor booed for asking Ben Carson if he would order airstrikes that would kill thousands of children

Republican nominee replied to boos with: 'You got it'

Aside from bickering, accusations and mud-slinging, candidates in the last GOP debate in Las Vegas finally answered questions about the possible military action that could leave innocents trapped in the crossfire in the battle to defeat Isis. 

A CNN anchor was met by boos as he questioned Ben Carson on whether he would be open to bombing innocent children and civilians in a bid to tackle the militant group which has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria. 

During the debate, the former neurosurgeon and Republican nominee called on Congress to formally declare war on Isis. He was then asked by CNN’s Hugh Hewitt about whether he would follow through with “ruthless carpet bombing”.

“Could you order airstrikes that would kill innocent children, by not the scores but by the hundreds and the thousands. Could you wage war as a commander in chief?” 

Like Donald Trump, Carson has established himself as a controversial candidate with his proposals for dealing with Isis and comments about Muslims and refugees. Unlike Trump, who becomes increasingly popular with each controversial comment, support for Carson has dropped over the last six weeks to 11 per cent, according to a Wall Street Journal/ NBC poll

Carson responded to Hewitt by describing the reactions of children he has told will need to have brain tumours removed. 

“By the same token,” he continued, “you have to be able to look at the big picture and understand that it’s actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job rather than death by a thousand pricks.”

“So you are OK with the death of thousands of innocent children and civilians?” asked Hewitt, prompting booing from the audience. Carson replied: “You got it. You got it.” 

“Ruthless is not necessarily the word I would use, but tough, resolute, understanding what the problems are, and understanding that the job of the president of the United States is to protect the people of this country and to do what is necessary to get it done.”

Ted Cruz, who is currently polling second behind Trump, has also backed a bombing campaign against the group, proposing that areas of the Middle East controlled by Isis should be “carpet-bombed into oblivion”.  

He said on Tuesday: “Now when you say ‘carpet-bomb cities,’ look, no — no reasonable military endeavour targets civilians. Now, inevitably in war, there are inadvertent collateral casualties. It is impossible to wage a war without their being inadvertent collateral casualties.”