March 21st, 2013
05:34 PM ET
7 years ago

Carson leaves room for political bid

(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."

Filed under: 2016 • Ben Carson • The Lead
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    Wonder if he GOP will refer to him as the Affirmative Action candidate?

    March 21, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    For a party so out of touch with humanity in general they certainly have a lot of losers pretending, now, that they care about anything or anyone.

    March 21, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Dave

    Limbaugh talks racism out of BOTH SIDES of his trashy mouth.

    March 21, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. antares201

    The GOP thinks that by just putting an African-American face out there they can attract more black voters. What they don't seem to understand is it's their policies that drive away blacks, Latinos, gays and women and they have no intention of changing those policies and therefore they'll continue to lose. But of course, they still have the old voter suppression trick up their sleeves...

    March 21, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. kayla

    wishful thinking

    March 21, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....and do you know why Rush Limbaugh doesn't have guest in his show? Because he's a Blowhard who can't debate the issue

    "....and say there, there, you poor little thing, we're going to take care of you." the GOP-TeaParty is taking of the rich big thing?!!!!

    So this fake doctor insinuating that ALL African – Americans and minorities are poor people?........there are more White people who are welfare recipients than blacks or hispanics!!!

    BTW, why wait a year and a half to go by before you throw your hat in the ring?....scared maybe? afraid that prime little secrets will start coming out like 999 Herman Cain?...........and here is the big one; once you get endorsed by RUSH are DOA on the political arena!!!!!

    March 21, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. freedom

    This man is the real deal. In addition to his brilliance as a brain surgeon, he respects and honors America, and all that it stands for – and has no intention of fundamentally transforming it. He wants to preserve all that's great about it, and has sound ideas on how to accomplish that. I'm in.

    March 21, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. jpmichigan

    Great! Please come back to your roots, here in Michigan and run for Mr. Levin's Senate seat. We desperately need common sense Senator from Michigan on the Hill.

    March 21, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    No gop conservative trash are going to take power in 2024 ,if ever in this century . The gop garbage nerds to be swept out for our country to move forward ..

    March 21, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Common Sense ???

    Limited Government ???

    Self Reliance ???

    Balanced Budget ???

    NO debt ???

    Low Taxes ???

    This guy MUST be a heretic !!!

    March 21, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Dr. Carson, you seem to be a brilliant and rational man. I doubt the knuckle dragging Cretins who make up the Republican base will vote for you though.

    March 21, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. K. in Miami

    Lets be clear here, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Herman Cain and Bobby Jingdal are embarrassments to their respective ethnic groups, I live in Florida and it's no secret how younger and more progressive Cubans feel about Rubio and Cruz for that matter.

    Their policy's don't align with the Majority in their cultures, Mr. Carson will be no different, when will Republicans understand this is smoke and fire, once it clears, the reality is the Republican Policy's are dispised in America, who ever they bring forward to push their agenda will be to no avail, good luck with Mr. Carson.

    March 21, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |