BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER. Ben Carson turned 64 today and received two presents in South Carolina - an audience of Republicans singing 'Happy Birthday' and NO Donald Trump
At the debate, Ben Carson (left) and Donald Trump (right) mostly played nice, but Trump previously questioned Carson's record on abortion calling it 'horrendous'
What a 64th birthday it's been for Ben Carson.
An arena filled with South Carolina Republicans sang him 'Happy Birthday' as the doctor quipped that 'what a great birthday present' it was that Donald Trump wasn't coming.
'I guess the best birthday present is, I heard that Donald Trump had dropped out,' Carson told the audience at the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum in Greenville, South Carolina. 'Oh, wait a minute, that was just for today.'SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
Just hours before the event, which attracted 10 of the 16 GOP candidates, Trump's campaign announced the billionaire wouldn't be attending due to a 'significant business transaction' he was completing, which delayed the GOP frontrunner's travels.
Trump's withdrawal came just as the billionaire was being bashed for not defending President Obama when a supporter asserted that the president was a Muslim and that America had a Muslim problem that needed to be fixed.
The Donald said nothing to correct the record.
Onstage, Carson said he was 'just kidding' about the Trump thing and explained that all the 'different personalities and voices' were needed to attract voters' interest in the presidential primary, as long as Republicans backed the nominee in the end.
The retired neurosurgeon used his appearance at the forum, sponsored by Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, to leave no doubt in voters' minds where he stood on the issue of abortion.
While Carson's impressive medical credentials are considered one of the candidate's biggest assets – he has successfully separated conjoined twins, after all – it also left him open to attacks on the issue, especially from Trump.
Trump attempts the most awkward high five ever with Carson0:00
/ 0:00 'You look at his faith and I think you're not going to find so much,' Trump said last week on CNN, after Carson insinuated that when it came to Trump and Christianity there wasn't much there. (Carson later walked back on those comments during Wednesday night's Republican debate.)
'And you look at his views on abortion, which were horrendous, and that's why I'm leading with all of the evangelicals,' Trump said, seemingly referring to Carson's defense, as a doctor, of using fetal tissue for research.
On Friday, Carson attacked Planned Parenthood for the controversial videos showing employees talking about selling fetal tissue.
He called the group's founder racist.
'When I look at the things that they have done and I look at their founder Margaret Sanger, who was a eugenicist, who didn't like people who looked like me,' Carson began. 'Obviously I'm not interested in anything that she founded.'Carson challenged Congress to use its power of the purse to cut off federal funding for good.
'Defund everything,' Carson said, adding that Congress had plenty of tools to force President Obama's hand on the issue.'They can defund his breakfast,' Carson said.
Ben Carson cleared up his stance on Planned Parenthood Friday hosted by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (pictured) saying the organization was founded by a racist and should be defunded