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Ben Carson: I Don't Want to Run for President, May Have To

By Sean Piccoli and Bill Hoffmann   |   Wednesday, 21 May 2014 07:15 PM

It's not the job Dr. Ben Carson wants, but it may be the job his country needs him to seek, the renowned neurosurgeon said of the presidency in interviews with Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"It continues to be something that I don't want to do, but I also recognize that our country is in an enormous amount of difficulty," Carson said.

"And if there were a lot of Americans — I mean a lot — who really thought that I should do that, I would have to give it serious consideration.''

In interviews with Steve Malzberg on "The Steve Malzberg Show" and "America's Forum" hosts J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman, the rising conservative star craftily dodged and weaved, deflecting question after question about the 2016 race.

Editor's Note: Dr. Ben Carson's New Book - One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future

"I still don't want to be president . . . Whether I run or not, I don't want to. Would I consider it if after the November elections [and] the populace has demonstrated that they actually understand what's going on?''

Asked if he had seen a Republican who can articulate the GOP ideology in a way that satisfies him, Carson responded: "Well, it's not there yet, but that doesn't mean that it can't develop because nobody has really announced.''

Asked for the names of some potential candidates he's impressed by, the former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Children's Center answered: "I like everybody."

But he agreed that if nobody suitable comes forward by the end of 2016, he will make a final decision about whether to run "early next year.''

Asked what his likelihood of running is on a scale of 1 to 10, Carson quipped, "Somewhere between 1 and 10.''

Editor's Note: Dr. Ben Carson's New Book - One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future

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Carson, president of the Carson Scholars Fund and chairman of the anti-Obamacare Save Our Healthcare Project, also discussed his long-term view of politics and controversial support for Monica Wehby — a pro-choice Republican running for the Senate in Oregon.

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Carson, who riled President Barack Obama with unscripted remarks at last year's National Prayer Breakfast, has been making rounds that some think signal White House ambitions of his own by talking up his new book.

It's a compendium of political policy and personal creed, written with his wife, Candy Carson, and called "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future," published by Sentinel HC.

Carson said he wrote "One Nation" to re-establish "that we the American people are not each other's enemies."

"We're natural allies," he said, "but we've allowed ourselves to be manipulated by those forces that drive wedges into every possible crack to create a war — gender wars, race wars and income wars and age wars," he said.

The goal being "to keep people at each other's throats, direct them away from the things that are important — things like the economy, the national debt, our casting away of our moral values and the things that allow us to have an identity," he said.

So what would it take to persuade Carson, who's the object of at least one draft movement, to run?

Insisting it's "a little bit early" to contemplate 2016, Carson said, "We have to see what happens in November" with the midterm elections. He also suggested conservatives who sense America's need for a major course correction won't necessarily have to pin their hopes on one person.

If interest in him fades, said Carson, and another candidate emerges who "is speaking the language that people want to hear and can identify with . . . that would be somebody that I can get behind, too."

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Carson used his column this week to explain and defend backing the pro-choice Wehby in Oregon as a move that navigates "a course between principle and pragmatism."

"I always say if two people agree about everything, one of them isn't necessary," Carson said Wednesday as a follow-up to the column. "But what conservatives have to understand is, if they take the attitude after the primary, 'My candidate didn't win; I'm taking my marbles and going home,' they're playing right into the plan of the progressive movement.

"We have to be smarter than that," he said, "and the fact of the matter is, if we take somebody who agrees with us most of the time so that we can gain power, we have the ability to sort out whatever other small differences exist after that," Carson said.

"But if you never get into position to be able to do anything, then, as Hillary would say, what difference does it make? You know, we're not going to get there, we've got to get there first."

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