While the Republican candidate said he opposes abortions for unwanted pregnancies and in cases of rape and incest, the retired neurosurgeon told moderator Chuck Todd he might be open to allowing abortions to preserve the life and health of the mother.
Click through images of Ben Carson on the campaign trail:
Ben Carson on the campaign trail
Ben Carson: I would 'love' to see abortion law overturned
MT. AYR, IA - JANUARY 22 : Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is introduced during his 'Trust in God Townhall' campaign stop January 22, 2016 in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. Carson, who is seeking the nomination from the Republican Party is on the presidential campaign trail across Iowa ahead of the Iowa Caucus taking place February 1. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a Liberty University Convocation in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. As retired neurosurgeon Carson has risen in the polls, media reports have revisited his accounts of acts of violence as a child, a key part of the redemption story he discusses on the campaign trail. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the media before speaking at a gala for the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida at PGA National Resort on November 6, 2015 in Palm Beach, Florida. Carson has come under media scrutiny for possibly exaggerating his background and other statements he has made recently. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 16: Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson (L) eats a piece of pizza while touring the Iowa State Fair on August 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage and touring the fairgrounds. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - OCTOBER 29: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during a news conference before a campaign event at Colorado Christian University on October 29, 2015 in Lakewood, Colorado. Ben Carson was back on the campaign trail a day after the third republican debate held at the University of Colorado Boulder. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Scenes around the the Value Voters Summit on September 25, 2015 in Washington DC. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson takes the stage at the event. Dr Carson speaks to the media after the speach. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Attendees wait for Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, not pictured, to arrive during a campaign stop at the birthplace of the Michigan Republican Party in Jackson, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. Carson, the third candidate in the Republican race to have never held elected office, saw his numbers drop following the debate last week. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, listens as he attends a service at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. Carson will be speaking at the Iowa State Fair, which is expected to host 18 presidential candidates and runs until Aug. 23. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson participates in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, eats a slice of pizza as he tours the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. In a Sunday interview with Fox News, Carson doubled down on his assertion that a speech given by President Barack Obama intended to sell the American public on his nuclear deal with Iran contained 'coded innuendos employing standard anti-Semitic themes.' Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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"That's an extraordinarily rare situation," Carson said. "But if in that very rare situation it occurred, I believe there's room to discuss that."
On "Meet the Press," the soft-spoken candidate said his past controversial comments have become flash points because they resonate with "people who aren't really thinking deeply."
Carson was asked how he would respond if he became the GOP nominee and those contentions remarks are used to attack him. His response: "As people get to know me, they know that I'm not a hateful, pathological person like some people try to make me out to be. And that will be self-evident. So I don't really worry about that."
Although Dr. Carson has walked back some of his most controversial statements, in the past he has called President Barack Obama a "psychopath." He suggested that being gay is a choice because people "go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they're gay." And on "Meet the Press" earlier this year, he said he would not advocate for a Muslim president.
And after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Carson linked gun control to the Holocaust, saying Hitler's goals would have been diminished if people were armed. "There's a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first," Carson said to intense criticism.
On "Meet the Press," Carson defended those comments. "I think it is generally agreed that it's much more difficult to dominate people who are armed than people who are not armed," he said.
"Some people will try to take that and, you know, make it into an anti-Jewish thing, which is foolishness." He added that many in the Jewish community have told him he was exactly right.
Despite the controversy, Carson has launched to the top of the Republican presidential field in recent polling. A recent Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll Friday showed Carson with a nine-point lead in Iowa. A Quinnipiac University poll the day before, gave him an eight point advantage over Donald Trump in the state.
When asked about becoming the target of fresh attacks from the business mogul who said he was "super low energy," Carson said he didn't want to get into the "mud pit." However, he added "I will tell you, in terms of energy, I'm not sure that there's anybody else running who has spent 18 or 20 hours intently operating on somebody."
Despite Carson making a name for himself as a political outsider, he did take a more establishment position on lifting the debt ceiling to pay the nation's bills.
When asked if House Republicans should lift the limit that the Treasury Department says will be reached on November 3, Carson told Chuck Todd that because their backs are against the wall, "I would probably do that rather than default."
Carson added that he would attach definable spending cuts to any increase. "If the president decides that he cannot sign it because it has those cuts in it, it's on him."