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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The Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, became the first major city newspaper to endorse Donald Trump over the weekend.“Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave,” the editorial read, acknowledging concerns about Trump’s temperament. “But neither candidate will ever be called to the dais to accept an award for moral probity and character,” the paper said. “And we are already distressingly familiar with the Clinton way, which involves turning public service into an orgy of influence peddling and entitlement designed to line their own pockets — precisely what a disgruntled electorate now rises up to protest.”
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, 50 to 38 percent, in a new ABC News tracking poll, "her highest support and his lowest to date in ABC News and ABC News/Washington Post polls. Gary Johnson has 5 percent support, Jill Stein 2 percent. Clinton led by only four points in the last ABC/Post poll on Oct. 13.
President Obama "will make a late splash into races for state senate and assembly over the next week, endorsing roughly 150 candidates across 20 states. He’ll also back a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court. The endorsements — which will come along with a variety of robocalls, social media posts, mailers, photos of Obama with the candidates taken as he’s been traveling to campaign in recent weeks, and even a few radio ads — are Obama’s biggest investment in state races ever by far."
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."