Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday — in between deriding the country’s “slick politicians and dishonest media” — Ben Carson took a moment to stoke rumors about his presidential ambitions in 2016.
An audience member asked Carson what steps he’d taken to run for president. “I have taken no steps toward such a thing, and I’ve got to tell you, I do not wish that job upon anybody — including myself,” he said.
However, that doesn’t mean he’s ruling out a presidential run. Carson told the audience he was looking forward to spending his retirement learning new languages, playing golf, and learning how to play the organ. After a pause, he continued, “But perhaps God has a different plan for me.”
The audience responded in kind.
This isn’t the first time Carson has cited a higher power as a reason he could run for higher office. “If the Lord grabbed me by the collar and made me do it, I would,” he told Sean Hannity in 2013.
If such a divine collar-yanking is in order, Carson will have quite a few mortal friends to call upon for support as well. Over the past four months, the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee has raised more than $2.4 million — more than similar groups supporting Hillary Clinton, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Marco Rubio.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon-cum-conservative pundit, was promoting his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future. Speaking in a quiet, reverent tone, Carson is the rhetorical opposite of Sen. Ted Cruz. Both men plant their political flag on the rock of their Christian faith. But where Cruz’s speeches are often filled with fire and brimstone, Carson spoke reverently of the Christian values that influence American life. Then, just as easily as he recounted the story of Esther, Carson called the Affordable Care Act a policy Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, and Vladimir Lenin would be proud of.
What We're Following See More »
Despite trailing Hillary Clinton by a significant margin, Bernie Sanders wasn't going the way of Ted Cruz tonight. The Vermont senator upset Clinton in Indiana, with MSNBC calling the race at 9pm. Sanders appears poised to win by a five- or six-point spread.
And just like that, it's over. Ted Cruz will suspend his presidential campaign after losing badly to Donald Trump in Indiana tonight. "While Cruz had always hedged when asked whether he would quit if he lost Indiana; his campaign had laid a huge bet on the state." John Kasich's campaign has pledged to carry on. “From the beginning, I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory,” said Cruz. “Tonight, I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed."
The Republican establishment's last remaining hope—a contested convention this summer—may have just ended in Indiana, as Donald Trump won a decisive victory over Ted Cruz. Nothing Cruz seemed to have in his corner seemed to help—not a presumptive VP pick in Carly Fiorina, not a midwestern state where he's done well in the past, and not the state's legions of conservatives. Though Trump "won't secure the 1,237 delegates he needs to formally claim the nomination until June, his Indiana triumph makes it almost impossible to stop him. Following his decisive wins in New York and other East Coast states, the Indiana victory could put Trump within 200 delegates of the magic number he needs to clinch the nomination." Cruz, meanwhile, "now faces the agonizing choice of whether to remain in the race, with his attempt to force the party into a contested convention in tatters, or to bow out and cede the party nomination to his political nemesis." The Associated Press, which called the race at 7pm, predicts Trump will win at least 45 delegates.