NBC anchor Chuck Todd pressed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson about his relatively frequent Nazi references during Sunday's "Meet the Press."
"Why do you so easily go to Nazi metaphors?" Todd asked. "A lot of times, the minute you talk about the Nazis, the minute you talk about the Holocaust, people stop listening."
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and popular author, has repeatedly stirred controversy by invoking Nazi Germany and the Holocaust on the campaign trail.
He's compared forced political correctness in the US to the Nazi regime and, most recently, argued that Hitler and other dictators' gun-confiscation programs demonstrated the importance of gun rights.
Carson responded to Todd's question by defending his comments about guns and Nazi Germany.
"Although interestingly enough, in the last several weeks, I've heard from many people in the Jewish community, including rabbis, who said, 'You're spot on. You are exactly right,'" Carson told Todd.
He went on to blame the media for igniting the Nazi controversies.
"Some of the people in your business, quite frankly ... like to try to stir things up and try to make this into a big, horrible thing," he said. "If I say something about something that we don't want to become and we never even want to get close to it, then I'm comparing it and I'm saying we're there. That's what they do."
As The New York Times reported last week, Carson's campaign has apparently been buoyed by his controversial remarks, including his opposition to a potential Muslim president. He is typically in the No. 2 spot in national and state-based Republican-primary polls, even surging to first place in a pair of Iowa surveys last week.
Carson cited his poll numbers during his "Meet the Press" interview and argued that voters are seeing through the noise surrounding his Nazi remarks.
"For people who aren't really thinking deeply, that resonates," Carson said of the media coverage. "But the fortunate thing is a lot of people really do think for themselves, as you can see, from the poll numbers here."
More From Business Insider