A super PAC has raised $4 million and has collected 200,000 signatures for Dr. Ben Carson's candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 — but he hasn't yet been persuaded to run.
John Philip Sousa IV, national chairman for the PAC, National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee
, says members are pushing the retired physician on a daily basis, sending him petition drive updates, "clamorings" to run and more, reports Fox News
, and the group believes that a Carson campaign could change the country and its politics.
Sousa, the great-grandson of famed late American composer John Philip Sousa, said his group likes Carson because he "doesn't whine like some other Republicans. He brings a solution to the table."
The fundraising numbers are so far competitive with those coming in for other potential candidates, reports Fox. For example, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has raised about $4.7 million.
But unlike Paul, Carson has never held political office, and is not expected to make a decision if he wants to run until next year. He told "The Steve Malzberg Show"
on Newsmax TV earlier this year that only extraordinary circumstances could drive him to throw his hat in the ring.
"If circumstances presented themselves in such a way that there were a lot of people clamoring for me to do that and there was no other candidate that was really receiving a lot of traction, I would certainly have to give it consideration," Carson said in January.
Sousa told Fox, though, that his group has feelers out to three regional political directors and has been working toward building the infrastructure for a potential Carson campaign.
The PAC is also already running advertisements on television and in direct mailings in hopes to increase Carson's name recognition. The former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University can help draw Republicans, Reagan Democrats, and 17 percent of the minority vote, the group believes.
"We have a strategy that goes beyond saying 'You need another black president,'" said Sousa. "And we’re going to take away those voters from Democrats."
Carson has remained in the public eye ever since his February 2013 Prayer Breakfast speech, in which he slammed the federal debt and more while President Barack Obama sat a few feet away.
Since then, the retired doctor has continued to make speeches and is a publisher for The Washington Times' digital magazine, American CurrentSee, which is aimed at conservative blacks. He also writes op-ed pieces for several publications.
Momentum is also growing for a Carson campaign outside the PAC. He finished in third place in the Conservative Political Action Conference’s poll and tied in third in the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference’s poll.
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