The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off today with Dr. Ben Carson speaking about a number of topics, including the threat of terrorism, ObamaCare and the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.  

Carson, who was the first speaker at this year's annual conservative conference, slammed ObamaCare and other federal entitlement programs.

"ObamaCare is absolutely about restriction and control," he said. “Everything that these programs were supposed to fix has gotten worse.” 

The potential 2016 presidential candidate explained that it's the next president's job to "get rid of dependency" that some Americans have on the U.S. government.  

“We need to understand what true compassion is to reach out to individuals who think that being dependent is reasonable as long as they feel safe,” the 63-year-old Carson said. “It’s not compassion to pat them on the head and say, ‘There, there, I’m going to take care of all your needs, your health care, your food.' That’s the opposite of compassion. I’m not interested in getting rid of a safety net, I’m interested in getting rid of dependency."

Carson also called on conservatives to find a way to convince Americans that they can "excel in our society" instead of being dependent on government.

"As more and more people hear that message, they will recognize who is truly on their side and who is trying to keep them suppressed and cultivate their votes," said Carson.

The former pediatric neurosurgeon argued that Iran might be a larger threat than ISIS, calling on the administration to "listen to Netanyahu."

Carson, who is a Tea Party favorite, also discussed reducing the size of the government and trimming the national debt.

“One of the things that is going to destroy us as a nation is our debt,” he said, as several members of the audience yelled “yes” in support. “The size of our government needs to be going down and the debt needs to be going down.” 

Watch his remarks below and Carl Cameron's report from CPAC above.


Don't miss "Hannity" tonight at 10p/1a ET as Sean brings you live coverage from CPAC. He'll have must-see interviews with some of the biggest names, including Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Dr. Ben Carson!