Dr. Ben Carson Launches Presidential Exploratory Committee

Ben Carson arrives to speak during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Washington, DC

Dr. Ben Carson has formally launched an exploratory committee to determine whether or not he should run for president in 2016.

“With the launch of this website, I formally establish what is called a presidential exploratory committee to examine whether I should become a candidate for president of the United States,” Carson says in a video posted on the site.

In so doing, I very much need—and look forward to—your feedback and help. All of us are frustrated with the way Washington has let us down. The career politicians simply don’t understand the disappointment, anger and pain in real America. As they cater to the special interests first, they don’t even seem to care about how failed policies and waste actually affect us—the people of the United States. I think it’s time for us to show them how much we do care about the job they are doing.

In the video, Carson lays out a list of reasons why he might run for president.

“If I run for president, it will be because I know what it is like to grow up in a tough neighborhood and feel marginalized,” Carson said.

If I run, it will be because I know firsthand that quality education is the ladder to climb out of poverty and dependence. If I run it will be because I know the very survival of our great country depends on strong leadership to address our real concerns about security, about jobs, about America’s standing in the world. If I run it will be because it is not acceptable for us to be dismissed and ignored by Washington politicians we entrusted to lead this country.

The presidential exploratory committee website walks through Carson’s childhood dream of becoming a physician, something he achieved despite growing up poor “in a single-parent household in Detroit with bad grades and a horrible temper.” The website reads:

As he began to appreciate reading, Ben’s grades improved dramatically and he started to develop what would become a life-long love affair with learning. Young Ben excelled in high school and upon completion, went on to attend college at Yale University where he met Candy, the young lady who would become his wife.

After graduation, Ben would work as an X-ray technician, a bank teller, a school bus driver, a supervisor for highway cleanup crews, and a crane operator in a steel factory, before being accepted into The University of Michigan School of Medicine.

Carson married his wife Candy, and after medical school moved to Baltimore, where he trained in residency at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.

“Little did he know at the time, but Johns Hopkins and Baltimore, Maryland would become his home for most of his career, as Dr. Carson went on to direct pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for 29 years,” the website reads.

“Some of Dr. Carson’s career highlights include the first and only successful separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins joined at the back of the head in 1987, the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa, and the first successful placement of an intrauterine shunt for a hydrocephalic twin.”

The website also notes how Carson has twice spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast, in 1997 and again in 2013. The 2013 appearance, where President Obama was present next to the podium, is what Carson owes much his political stardom to. That speech went viral, and he’s been a hit among conservatives since.

This past week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Carson called on Congress to defund President Obama’s golfing. In the CPAC straw poll, Carson finished fourth with 11.4 percent of the vote—several percentage points ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who finished in fifth place with 8.3 percent.