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WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon turned conservative star, has confirmed that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Carson, who has never run for public office, is expected to be the only high-profile African-American to enter the GOP’s presidential primary as he tries to parlay his success as an author and speaker into a competitive campaign against established politicians.

“I’m willing to be part of the equation and therefore, I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States of America,” he said in an interview aired Sunday night by Ohio’s WKRC television station.

He is set to make a more formal announcement during a speech from his native Detroit on Monday.

Carson earned national acclaim during 29 years leading the pediatric neurosurgery unit of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, where he still lives. He directed the first surgery to separate twins connected at the back of the head. His career was notable enough to inspire the 2009 movie, “Gifted Hands,” with actor Cuba Gooding Jr. depicting Carson.

“I see myself as a member of ‘we the people,'” he told the Associated Press in an interview earlier this year, arguing that his lack of experience is an asset.

“I see myself as a logical American who has common sense,” he continued, “and I think that’s going to resonate with a lot of American, regardless of their political party.”

The 63-year-old Detroit native remains largely unknown outside of conservative activists who have embraced him since his address at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, where he offered a withering critique of the modern welfare state and the nation’s overall direction.

The speech restated themes from Carson’s 2012 book “America the Beautiful,” but he excited conservatives by doing so with President Barack Obama sitting just feet away.

Carson has since become a forceful critic of the nation’s first black president on everything from health care to foreign policy. Carson also offers himself as a counter to other notable African-American commentators with more liberal views.

Most recently, Carson has spoken out on the unrest in the city where he lived for many years, where residents have protested and rioted in the wake of Freddie Gray dying while in custody of the Baltimore Police Department. In a Time op-ed, Carson decried the protests and related vandalism as “gross misconduct.”

Carson moved to Palm Beach, Florida, after his retirement from Johns Hopkins, but he is announcing his campaign in his hometown of Detroit, where his mother raised him and his brother in poverty.

He attributes his politics to his upbringing, often describing his neighborhood culture as one where residents celebrating any new announcement of government support. Still, he acknowledges that his mother received welfare aid, and he insists that he supports “a safety net for the people who need a safety net.”

Carson is a staunch social conservative, opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriage, views he attributes to his personal faith as a practicing Christian.

He has more complex views on health care and foreign policy, including statements that could put him at odds with the most conservative branches of his party.

He has compared the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement, to slavery. Yet Carson also has blasted for-profit insurance companies; called for stricter regulations — including of prices — of health care services; and said government should offer a nationalized insurance program for catastrophic care.

Carson pitches himself as a staunch supporter of Israel in its disputes with other Middle Eastern nations, and he has hammered Obama on his dealings in the region. But in his earlier writings, Carson criticized the U.S. for historically being too eager to wage war.

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30 thoughts on “Dr. Ben Carson Confirms He’s Seeking Republican Presidential Nomination

  1. Timekeeeper on said:

    Every now and then a colored man ( or woman,) a.k.a. Condaleeza Rice comes along that will unabashedly rail against people of color. They instantly become a hero for Faux news and all those who subscribe to the bigoted theory of Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and the Heart (less) land of America. Their spewing of Slef Hate allows them to sleep at night under the false premise that
    “Hey! Im not prejudice, I like Ben Carson!!” Ha,ha,ha,
    That false sense of being objective is worth millions to white America. That falsity is a very strong elixir and helps them sleep at night..

  2. specialt757 on said:

    @stilbelieve
    “What about the sacrifices white Republicans have made for the blacks?” List them.

  3. monica on said:

    You can’t be a surgeon and then just decide you want to be the President… hello does experience even matter, maybe he should seek the office for Alderman first.

  4. psnthersdec on said:

    Right on you ain’t never lied. Because I am quite sure he has some stories to tell about how AMERICA tried to hold him back from being successful.. When we are poor, we are “black” and no one argues for us to call ourselves Americans as if we are not part of America and the are not insulted . When are super successful we are “Americans” and everyone argues for us not to call ourselves black and to be a part of American society because they feel insulted.

  5. Linda on said:

    Carson will be nothing but a Puppet for the GOP!!!!

    He will only get the votes of people who think the same way as he does–ASSBACKWARDS!!!

    • stilbelieve on said:

      Help me out. What are examples of his “assbackwards” thinking? If you would, please list as many of them as you can and, if you can, explain why you think they are “assbackwards.”

      • specialt757 on said:

        Here is a more recent one “that homosexuality is a choice because people “go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay.” “he (Ben Carson) won’t be addressing gay rights issues for the duration of his presidential campaign.” He won’t get far.

    • Specialist 757 is right! He is a doctor, and has very poor judgement to be called a professional running for any office. Its called rape fool . . . take a seat, because you probably wouldn’t last a week in a county jail let alone prison!

      I think he is trying to sell his book.

    • Timekeeeper on said:

      You are 100% correct Linda. People like Ben Carson, Herman Cain, Stephen ( from the Django Unchained ) movie and people lie that is that thy allow white folks to be comfortable in their racism.

  6. Raleigh Delesbore on said:

    Opinions are just like assholes, everybody has one, I think. This brother looks like me but thinks like someone who does not look like me. Definitely will not get any support from me.

  7. Lynne on said:

    Ben Carson will not win, the republicans will chew him up and spit him out just like they did with the “Cain Train”. Watch and see, he will soon realize just important he is to them.

  8. Ms Curly on said:

    He is a success story period. But I don’t think he will win and if he did I don’t think he will make a good president.

  9. He is probably making the stupid assumption that just because he is black he will get the black votes. Check the facts Obama did not win solely on black votes.

    • jhuf on said:

      Since we are no longer the largest minority it stands to reason no one can win from the just black vote the Hispanic vote is now the sought after minority

    • Timekeeeper on said:

      Actually, his “stupid” assumption is that he will get the white vote by tearing black folks down.

  10. stilbelieve on said:

    Unlike the first ever affirmative action president, Barack Obama who doesn’t know “when a baby should be given their human rights,” Dr. Ben Carson stared academically and professionally. He is someone ALL people can admire and respect.

    • Repect for his academic achievements is one thing but the ignorance that comes out of his mouth will end his bid. GOP will never allow him to be there candidate.

    • psnthersdec on said:

      What struggle and sacrifice for black folks. The struggle for us to look and listen to Herman Pain, I mean Herman Cain.

    • Joanne on said:

      “Admire and respect” is not enough to make a good president. Lots of people did not respect Bill Clinton, but he was a good president. Ben Carson is a brilliant surgeon, but when he speaks on anything not medically related, one forgets that he is a brilliant surgeon. Representational politics is not his thing, maybe the next Surgeon General

  11. stilbelieve on said:

    Dr. Ben Carson is not just a “black success story,” he is an American success story made possible because of his mother and his own decisions to obey her.

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