Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and other co-hosts of ABC's "The View" grilled Carson repeatedly for the retired neurosurgeon's decision to support Donald Trump's presidential bid, asking how an inspirational figure like him -- "You're Ben Carson. You're so much better than this!" Goldberg said -- could endorse Trump.
"Let me tell you something -- when you're very nice, you're very respectful, you talk about the real issues, and not (getting) into all these issues, where does it get you? It gets you where it got me. Nowhere, OK?" Carson said.
"You have aligned yourself with a man who has bashed women and made countless racist remarks. And you're Ben Carson, why would you align yourself with that?" Goldberg asked.
The host expressed her frustration with how Trump has responded to issues of race.
"This guy is -- I'm sorry, he's a racist. And he's not good for the country," Goldberg said to applause.
"What's the alternative," Carson shot back.
"I look at the big picture. Could I focus on only racial issues? Absolutely. Could I focus on women's issues? Absolutely," he added. "But right now, the nature of our country is at stake. We are on the precipice. We are determining what kind of nation we're going to be."
Behar asked how he could support someone who equated him to a child molester and called him a liar.
"If you're going to overlook what he said about women, if you're going to overlook what he said about African-Americans, what about what he said about you," she asked.
In November, Trump, citing a phrase used in Carson's autobiography, said the retired neurosurgeon had a "pathological temper" that could not be cured. "That's a big problem because you don't cure that," he told CNN's Erin Burnett
. "As an example: child molesting. You don't cure these people. You don't cure a child molester. There's no cure for it. Pathological, there's no cure for that."
But Carson said he, and others, should look past Trump's comments and look to the bigger problems facing the nation.
"If it were about me I would be offended, but it's about America. We have to save this nation. That is what's important," Carson said.
Trump quickly blasted the show Thursday in a series of tweets.
"@TheView T.V. show, which is failing so badly that it will soon be taken off (the) air, is constantly asking me to go on. I TELL THEM "NO"" Trump tweeted.