Ben Carson: ‘Strong Likelihood’ I’ll Run For President

2013 Conservative Political Action Conference

Ben Carson, the now apparently neurosurgeon who has become something of a celebrity on the right thanks to his outspoken, and often outrageous, comments about President Obama, says that he’s likely to run for President in 2016:

Former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon and conservative activist Ben Carson said there is a “strong” likelihood that you will see his name in the presidential primaries come 2016.

“Unless the American people indicate in November that they like Big Government intervention in every part of their lives, I think the likelihood is strong,” Carson said Monday night on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” according to a show transcript, when asked about the chances of a presidential run.

Carson, who was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President George W. Bush, said that he will be waiting for “a few more months” before making any definite decisions, and predicted that he will make a formal announcement in May of next year.

“I think the chances are reasonably good of that happening,” Carson said. “I want to make sure that it’s clearly something my fellow Americans want me to do. And I’m also waiting to see what the results are in November, because if the people indicate that they truly do want a nation that is for, of and by the people, then I, along with I hope many other people, would be willing to give it everything we possibly have.”

The 2016 GOP presidential primary is predicted to be a crowded race, but while Carson said he will “never be a politician,” he did offer insight into who his voting base would be.

“I hope it’s going to be that individual who loves America, who understands that we should place the Constitution on the top shelf, that we should not pick and choose who the winners and losers are in our society, and that we shouldn’t pick and choose which laws we want to enforce, and those people who understand that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you,” Carson said.

Carson has won conservative accolades for his comments about the Affordable Care Act and Obama’s Presidency, but he has also drawn controversy to himself with many of his comments. In the past, he’s equated the PPACA to the September 11th attacks, called the law the worst thing since slavery, and said that “progressives” are going to turn America into Nazi Germany. On the other side of the ledger, though, he has also said things that would seemingly cause conservatives to dislike him, such as when he said that he didn’t believe that people had a “right” to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities. Despite departures from orthodoxy like that, though, Carson remains popular on the right and has scored well in various straw polls that have been conducted this year at gatherings such as CPAC, so it’s likely that he’ll have some kind of following if he does indeed decide to run for President. He won’t be a serious candidate, of course, any more than Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann were. Like those two candidates, though, he will tap in to a segment of the GOP base that will love his rhetoric, and he would likely say many things on the campaign trail that will require other candidate to distance themselves from him. Just like Cain and Bachmann, though, this wouldn’t be a serious run for office, it would be an audition for the paid speaking circuit that has developed on the right and an effort to raise his speaking fees. Nice work if you can get it, I suppose.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    I want to make sure that it’s clearly something my fellow Americans want me to do.

    I don’t want him to but I suspect he is not going to ask me.

  2. beth says:

    And comedians across the country whisper a prayer of thanks.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    How does someone this fvcking stupid get to be a neurosurgeon???

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there really is a Dog.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: Compartmentalization.

    The second picture under Related Posts above seems appropriate.

  6. David in KC says:

    Didn’t it used to be that people who entered the race to be President actually entered to try and win instead of just getting press?

  7. CSK says:

    @David in KC:

    I read somewhere that Newt Gingrich told Sarah Palin that the best way to increase your book sales was by running for the presidency.

  8. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares” Just another candidate using the Republican Primary for personal promotion. At least when the Republican Primary is no longer considered relevant (since it is actually irrelevant to policy and governance in the U.S.) maybe many of these self-promoters will go away.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    equated the PPACA to the September 11th attacks, called the law the worst thing since slavery, and said that “progressives” are going to turn America into Nazi Germany.

    LOL!

  10. argon says:

    Is it a grift, Doug? He’s wealthy enough already. I suspect it’s probably more like the ego stoking of a vanity candidate.

  11. Ron Beasley says:

    Just what the Republican Party needs – another grifter.

  12. bandit says:

    @beth: OTB lunatic haters too!

  13. bandit says:

    @Ron Beasley: Bring the hate

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @bandit:

    …that power of accurate observation which is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it…

    – G. B. Shaw

  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    @bandit:

    I’m assuming you mean “Those at OTB who hate lunatics.” In which case, yes, I am excited for the entertainment he’ll bring. That said, I’d much rather have a nice, boring election filled with discussions of big ideas and policies. I’d also like truckloads of cash to arrive at my doorstep, driven by scantily clad redheads. I believe the latter will happen long before the former.

  16. Mu says:

    I vote for him, and hope he becomes president. I’ll take any bet on his Wikipedia entry in 2100 so: “The last Republican president ….”

  17. Mikey says:

    Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist. As a survivor of that particular cult er, denomination, I am actually a bit surprised he is thinking about running. Adventists usually aren’t into large-scale political activity, or at least they weren’t when I was one (which was admittedly some decades in the past).

    In the exceptionally unlikely event he’s elected, I predict a general revolt among his staff when he bans bacon in the White House.

  18. wr says:

    What a waste that this man with such a remarkable level of skill and talent chooses to waste his life on hate-filled political jeremaiads. He seems to be truly brilliant as a surgeon, but also to be profoundly stupid about politics.

  19. Pinky says:

    @David in KC:

    Didn’t it used to be that people who entered the race to be President actually entered to try and win instead of just getting press?

    Don’t swear by Doug’s mind-reading abilities. I think that if Carson runs, he’ll be running to win.

  20. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Anyone who talks about “the people” and “something my fellow Americans want me to do” is automatically suspicious (and a narcissistic a-hole pretending to be humble).

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: How does someone this fvcking stupid get to be a neurosurgeon???

    Dr. Carson is a neurosurgeon. His profession is quite literally a slang term for genius. As in, “Cliffy, I don’t know what you do for a living, but it sure as hell ain’t brain surgery.” Further, he is a very successful and skilled neurosurgeon, so he’s a genius when compared to other geniuses.

    From his Wikipedia entry:

    Carson was a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics, and he was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.[3] At age 33, he became the youngest major division director in Johns Hopkins history, as director of pediatric neurosurgery. He was also a co-director of the Johns Hopkins Craniofacial Center.

    Further, he was a pediatric neurosurgeon, meaning he dealt with children’s brains — which are a lot smaller and still developing.

    Just because someone disagrees with your beliefs, Cliffy, that doesn’t make them “stupid.” In fact, in most cases, it’s quite the contrary.

  22. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: @C. Clavin: Another thing about Adventists: they are Olympic gold medalists at compartmentalizing. I knew plenty of smart ones (not Carson level smart, but pretty bright people).

    Many go into the health professions because they provide a “loophole” in the Adventist prohibition of working on Sabbath (Saturday). Since being a physician or nurse doesn’t necessitate acceptance of an old Earth or macro-level evolution, they do just fine. And whatever conflicts, they just shunt off into the appropriate compartment.

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: I’ve known a few Seventh-Day Adventists, and they are generally decent, honest, hard-working, and respectable folks. Kind of like Mormons, come to think of it.

    I tend to think that their beliefs are rather silly, but as long as they don’t try to convert me, I get along with them just fine and hold them in high regard.

    Conversely, quite a few of the atheists I’ve encountered have been quite “evangelical” about their beliefs, and rather a-holish in general. They don’t just reject religion, they see an almost divine calling to attack it at every opportunity.

  24. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I’m an atheist and hang around plenty of other atheists, and I don’t know one who does that. But I suppose there are a few out there.

  25. Janis Gore says:

    Just as long as as when I say, “Oh, Christ!” he doesn’t answer “Yessss, my child.”

  26. grumpy realist says:

    @wr: Reminds me of one of my boyfriends. Brilliant at physics; didn’t have a clue about how people worked and all the messy interactions in relationships.

    I knew the handwriting was on the wall when I said: “I feel X” and his response was: “No, you don’t.”

  27. Anonne says:

    He’s not stupid. Nor are the many people canny enough to get elected in the Republican Party.

    He’s selfish, greedy, and short-sighted, but not stupid. Republicans are generally not stupid, but willfully ignorant and self-centered. There is an enormous difference.

  28. Pinky says:

    @Anonne: I wonder if you really believe that. Even at my angriest, I still believe that most Democrats are wrong or have different priorities, rather than being malicious. As for Republicans’ selfishness, there are any number of studies showing that conservatives volunteer and donate more than liberals.

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: I’m an atheist and hang around plenty of other atheists, and I don’t know one who does that. But I suppose there are a few out there.

    One of the ways they identify themselves is when they dismiss religious arguments as “people arguing about whose invisible friend is better” or such things.

    They tend to not inspire much tolerance and respect from those who claim those properties — usually an exclusive claim.

  30. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Oh, you’re talking about “they.” Well, clearly you’re not just making crap up to annoy people.

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: You want names? Here’s a link that shows how prominent the phrase “invisible friend” is among the commentariat here.

    Used by: Tony W, Gustopher, and Steve, among others.

    And outside of this little corner of the internets, here’s another link.

    Do you EVER get tired of having your nose rubbed in how stupid you are?

  32. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Oh, noes, little Jenos is making sweeping generalizations about people who don’t believe in God by citing a handful of comments on this site — and that proves I’m stupid!!!!! Foiled again by the super genius who again proves that anything he claims about millions of Americans can be proven by finding one example!

  33. Pinky says:

    @wr: Come on, at least it makes it tougher for Mikey to claim that he’s never witnessed such a thing.

  34. Pinky says:

    @Anonne: And why do you think he’s greedy?

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @bandit:

    @Ron Beasley: Bring the hate

    Dr. Carson has taken care of THAT.

  36. Pinky says:

    @Pinky: I mean, upthread, Ozark took a cheap shot at theists apropos of nothing. Did Mikey not see that? This is like Homer Simpson denying that he has an anger problem. “I’m just passionate.” “Look, you’re punching the cat right now.”

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Oh, noes, little Jenos is making sweeping generalizations about people who don’t believe in God by citing a handful of comments on this site — and that proves I’m stupid!!!!!

    You give me far too much credit. You prove you’re stupid. I just bring up the proof.

  38. Mikey says:

    @Pinky: That little comment? It pretty much went by. It doesn’t seem like what Jenos described, anyway.

    Also I didn’t deny there are atheists who behave as Jenos described–my assertion is they are far fewer in number than he implied.

    It may be because my friends and I are old enough that we have matured past the confrontational stage.

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: If you haven’t encountered the hostile atheists as much as others, you’re fortunate. But they are out there, they are numerous, and they are loud.

    And a few have popped up here, on occasion.

  40. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: If you keep encountering people who are hostile to you, perhaps it’s because you choose to devote your life to annoying people. I bet if you stopped trolling, you’d encounter a lot less hostility.

    Or you could stop whining when you get what you beg for.

    Either would be an improvement.

  41. T says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’ve known a few Seventh-Day Adventists, and they are generally decent, honest, hard-working, and respectable folks.

    to your face…

  42. Mikey says:

    @T: Yes, that’s another delightful aspect of Adventism.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey: Nobody really counts, but roughly:

    — Number of times I’ve been proselytized by a Christian: hundreds

    — Number of times I’ve been proselytized by an atheist or agnostic: zero