Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson appears to be closer to a 2016 presidential run after thrilling the crowd over the weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.
But Carson finished a distant third in the 2014 CPAC straw poll, picked by 9 percent of the conservative poll respondents, with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul gaining the bulk of the votes at 31 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 11 percent. Paul increased his margin since last year’s CPAC poll, when he received 25 percent of the votes.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in fourth place with 8 percent of the vote.
During a speech that was enthusiastically received by the CPAC crowd, Carson attacked the Obama administration and vowed to take on his liberal and media critics.
“I will continue to defy the PC [political correctness] police who have tried, in many cases, to shut me up! I actually find them pretty amusing,” Carson said.
Carson claimed that several recent comments he made that have been roundly lashed, such as his declaration that the Affordable Care Act was the worst thing since slavery, have been taken out of context and skewed by the left to score political points against him.
“[They] repeat these lies over and over again because they cannot argue the actual facts,” Carson said.
However, Carson did have a chance to further explain his slavery comment when he appeared on Roland Martin’s radio show last October, and he did not back down or change the meaning of his statement.
Noting that atrocities like Jim Crow arose after slavery, Martin asked him, “Did you go too far?”
“That’s my opinion,” Carson responded. “First of all, I recognize that slavery was a horrible thing … I realize how horrible it was … I didn’t say this is as bad as slavery, I said this is the worst thing since slavery.”
“Which includes Jim Crow,” Martin interrupted.
“Yes, absolutely,” the neurosurgeon and author said. “This nation was founded on the principle that it would be a new type of nation, that was for, of, and by the people. A constitution was put in place that would assure that the people remain at the pinnacle of power and that the central government would never reach the point where it had control of the people. [Obamacare] fundamentally changes the relationship.”
Carson told The Hill during the CPAC conference that he does not have any desire to run for president, but that he will “listen” to calls for him to enter the race.
“If the circumstances were to evolve in such a way that that seemed to be what God was calling me to do, I would certainly do it,” Carson told The Hill. “And I would never turn my back on my fellow citizens, if there was a hue and cry for such.”
Carson became a darling of the conservative movement when he used a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast a year ago to bash Obamacare — with the president sitting a few feet away from him.
“Moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility, they destroyed themselves. And if you don’t think that can happen to America, you get out your books and you start reading,” Carson said, as Obama listened.
Carson said at the CPAC conference that conservatives need to vote out members of Congress who continue to favor increasing the debt ceiling—but later he urged the crowd to support moderate Republicans.
“The ship is about to sail off of Niagara Falls and we’re all going to die, but we’ve got a bunch of people looking over of the side of the ship and they say: there are barnacles on the ship, we have to get the barnacles off.” Carson said. “We’ve got to get the ship turned around first.
11 thoughts on “Ben Carson Closer to 2016 Run, But Polling Far Behind Rand Paul”
Oh No! Another Coon!
Last Year I invited myself to CPAC under the premise Black folks need to be where our interests are in play and at risk..
CD's tired rant about Dr.Carson is old news and advances nothing…. I was hoping to get an invite to CPAC this year and offer a presentation on how to recruit Black Americans to CPAC, clearly they did not have an interest in my presentation.
That is not good news….
I was talking to some college students at CPAC. They admitted that they were able to go because they were bused in to vote for Rand Paul.
I figured as much…
Why Grady because he's Republican? He is free to choose politically just like anyone one else. Maybe I should call you a bigot
Courtney Campbell : True statement! I did not condem him for being Republican. Those are your words….
I will vote for ANY candidate who has as his running mate Dr Carson, a man who happens to be black, but who does NOT make it his ONLY qualification. I voted for Obama the first time, after that he hired every pharma lobbyist in Washington, passed the SCHIP tax, which he still acts like never happened, and set out to destroy the middle class, both black and white in America. Needless to say, I did not vote for him the second time. And I will never vote for Hillary Clinton! My God. Her only qualification for the job is her pharma connections!
ACA is as bad as slavery? How could such an educated guy make such an idiotic statement? slavery is the most dehumanizing thing you can do to a human being. no freedom, no dignity, no hope, no future. Treated worse than an animal, women raped Human beings sold as property for nearly 200 yrs, then another 100 years of segregation. This guy has nothing to offer. He's the slave, he just doesn't know it.
He did not say 'as bad as' but rather 'the worst things since' which he clarifies in the latter part of the article
you call this brilliant man a coon? you are the coon. they come in all colors. did you know that? you are not fit to wipe his brow of sweat.
Dr Carson go back to john Hopkins. To continue. Doing what you do best i.e. SURGERY you pandering to the lowest of the republican demagogues .