GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson stops in San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson stops in San Diego

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Ben Carson is seen in this photo at a press conference in San Diego Tuesday, November 17, 2015. (CBS News 8 Photographer Jon Stinebaugh) Ben Carson is seen in this photo at a press conference in San Diego Tuesday, November 17, 2015. (CBS News 8 Photographer Jon Stinebaugh)

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The race for the GOP presidential nomination took center stage Tuesday in America’s Finest City.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, whose polls show is neck-and-neck with Donald Trump, appeared at a La Jolla fundraiser Tuesday and spoke with the media and guests.

During his $1,000 a plate lunch, he said that the American people need to know the issues facing the country. 

“How we have to inform ourselves on what the issues are that are going on. How important that is in order to be able to make appropriate decisions,” said Carson.

Most questions directed at Carson centered on the attacks in Paris and how to handle ISIS. Carson said if he was president he would use every resource available to destroy them and that it's better to fight them on their turf, instead of ours. 

“We have to take the battle to them. Not just sort of relax and kind of react to what they're doing. And we need to have a goal of actually eradicating them not a goal of containing them,” Carson continued.

The violence in the Middle East has caused scores of people, mostly from Syria, to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Recently, Carson criticized the Obama administration's plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States, saying it could be dangerous. 

“There isn't a very good vetting process and therefore we should not be bringing them in here,” said Carson. “Unless someone comes up with a full-proof vetting process why would we bring people into this country under these circumstances, who want to wreak havoc on us. It doesn't make any sense.”

Most people in attendance said they plan to vote for Carson, but some were still on the fence. 

“I believe he's an intelligent man who feels compelled to run for this office. I don’t believe he is ego driven and I believe he will surround himself with knowledgeable people and listen to them,” said Isabel Hall.

Prior to Carson’s San Diego visit, he was in Costa Mesa for a fundraiser, according to an aide. 

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