It Will Take Divine Intervention for Ben Carson to Run for President

But he’s not ruling it out.

World-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and philanthropist Dr. Benjamin Carson Sr. speaks to an audience in Central Michigan University in October 2009.
National Journal
Emma Roller
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Emma Roller
May 28, 2014, 11:12 a.m.

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.

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