Dr. Ben Carson

Former neurosurgeon-turned-politico Ben Carson, who just launched a committee to explore the possibility of the presidency in 2016, walked back comments he made about homosexuality being a choice and that the proof was in the prison population.

He issued a statement: I realize “my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues. I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that, I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.”

His mea culpa comes on the heels of much criticism over his CNN “New Day” assertion to host Chris Cuomo – that being gay was “absolutely” a choice.

“Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay,” he said, during the Wednesday interview on CNN. “So, did something happen while they were in there?”

Watch video of Ben Carson on issue of homosexuality:

During a later radio interview with Sean Hannity, Carson also criticized CNN for taking his 25-minute pre-taped interview and cutting it down to simply the couple minutes’ discussion of his most controversial statements about “gays.”

“They chopped, and you see what part they emphasized,” Carson told Hannity, the National Journal reported. “We talked about some really important things. None of that was brought out. But I did learn something very important: for certain networks, never do a pre-taped interview. Always do it live.”

Carson also emphasized that he still believed that marriage was between a man and woman.

“Here’s the point,” he said, National Journal reported. “I believe in traditional marriage between a man and woman. I also believe that our Constitution protects everybody regardless of their beliefs and that includes people who are gay. I have no problem with them doing whatever they want to do. I’m just not willing to change that position on marriage for anybody, because once you do that, you have to change it for everybody else who comes along. And why would we want to do that? We have something that’s worked just fine for thousands of years to create a nurturing environment for raising children.”

And one more point: Carson said he’s “not going to really talk about that issue anymore,” the news outlet reported.

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