(CNN) – Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a rising superstar among conservatives, said Thursday he has no "intention" to run for political office anytime soon–but left he left the door open to the idea.
"If a year and a half goes by and people are still clamoring for me to do that and there's no other very good candidate, I would certainly have to seriously consider it," he said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
But, he added, "the likelihood of that is incredibly small."
Carson won conservative acclaim last month when he criticized Democratic policies on taxes and health care while giving the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama was sitting just feet away as the renowned neurosurgeon openly chided some of Obama's positions.
He was invited to this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, where his address on Saturday was greeted with great fanfare. He stoked speculation of political ambition when he announced he'd be retiring from medical practice in three months.
He also drew enthusiastic applause when he asked, hypothetically, "What if you magically put me in the White House?"
WATCH: Getting to Know Dr. Ben Carson
While Carson is a registered independent, he's known for giving voice to right-leaning ideas. Conservative radio talk Rush Limbaugh argued Tuesday that Carson, an African-American, would be a tough candidate for Democrats to target.
"I think Dr. Benjamin Carson has probably got everybody in the Democrat Party scared to death. It's going to be really hard to demonize this guy, really, really hard, partially because of his race, but not just because he's African-American," Limbaugh said. "It's because you can call this guy all kinds of demonic names, he just doesn't fit the bill."
Asked Thursday why he thinks a strong majority of African-Americans vote Democrat, Carson said they tend to view the Democratic Party as the one that's protecting their rights.
"Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But in fact, that is the perception," he said "But, you know, the deeper issue is why do people feel that they need to be protected?
Carson said he would rather see a situation were "we can all rise together, rather than pretty much having a class of people and we kind of pat them on the head and say there, there, you poor little thing, we're going to take care of you."
He also talked about his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying there are better ways to fight terrorists rather than engaging in combat. The best way, he said, is to become petroleum-independent.
"If we become petroleum-independent, we almost win that war on the terrorists immediately, because their funding disappears," he said. "We have to begin to think that way rather than bombs and missiles. That's sort of archaic, to be honest with you."