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Ben Carson Ending Presidential Campaign

Ben Carson Ending Presidential Campaign

By    |   Wednesday, 02 March 2016 02:12 PM

Ben Carson said Wednesday that he was ending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after a dismal showing on Super Tuesday in which he won no delegates — and a steady drop from leader to the bottom ranks in national polls.

"I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening's Super Tuesday primary results," the retired pediatric neurosurgeon said in a statement posted on his website and on social media. "However, this grassroots movement on behalf of 'We the People' will continue."

Though he did not officially suspend his campaign, Carson, 64, who began his effort in May, said that he would not attend Thursday's Fox News debate in Detroit.

He said that he would discuss his future during a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington.

"Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America," Carson said.

"Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for president, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations," he added. "We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation."

Carson also thanked his supporters — "financial and otherwise, from all corners of America.

"Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interests of the American people."

Carson's statement came after longtime friend and political adviser Armstrong Williams told Politico on Wednesday that he was not quitting the race — even though "there is no pathway" and despite offers for "many deals.

"He has no interest in doing that," Williams said, declining to be specific about other others that Carson has received. "That's politics, and he's not a politician."

Williams, who said he spoke with Carson Tuesday afternoon, added that Carson was not trying to help front-runner Donald Trump or rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

"He's not in this cycle to do anybody any favors," Williams said. "It's not about a pathway to him. There is no pathway. It's about his constituency and his base telling him to stay in the race."

"No one has a pathway to the nomination except Donald Trump," he said. "They're all in the same boat."

Carson won none of the 13 states and American territories that were holding primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday. He placed second-to-last or last in all of the races.

Earlier Wednesday, he posted a "Dear Haters" video on Twitter in which he vowed to remain in the race.

"Sometimes you're going to face opposition," Carson said in the video. "And sometimes you're going to find people with whom you disagree. What good does it do to hate that person, to try to destroy that person?"

In recent weeks, Carson has been battling heavy speculation that his campaign was growing shakier — and he even dismissed a Newsmax column by Williams late last month that he "must make some difficult choices" on whether to continue in his quest.
Carson had lost South Carolina the previous week, finishing last of the six primary candidates.

"Everybody has tough decisions to make," he told CNN. "We make decisions every single day.

"I don't know that you can read a whole lot into that statement," he said.

Williams, a longtime Carson friend and business adviser, said in his Newsmax column that the candidate's South Carolina loss "has given rise to speculation that he must make some difficult choices about whether or not to continue his campaign."

Once leading national polls because of a straight-talk bluntness that railed against "political correctness" and resonated with voters, Carson's campaign has been marred throughout by missteps, gaffes, stumbles, staff infighting — even changes in direction.

Several key staffers resigned in January amid rumors of a major shake-up.

Throughout the campaign, he declined to openly attack his rivals, focusing more on slamming Obamacare and the nation's byzantine tax code.

Carson drew more national visibility in 2013 after openly attacking President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast. That soon led to a "draft Ben Carson" committee that had raised nearly $16 million before he announced his campaign, according to news reports.

He retired as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 2013.

Carson's story is well known — rising from an impoverished childhood in Detroit to become, at 33, the youngest person head any division at the hospital and being the first pediatric neurosurgeon in the world to successfully separate conjoined twins.

His six best-selling books include his 1996 biography — "Gifted Hands" — which became a television movie, as well as last year's "A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties."

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Ben Carson said Wednesday that he was ending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after a dismal showing on Super Tuesday in which he won no delegates — and a steady drop from leader to the bottom ranks in national polls.
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Wednesday, 02 March 2016 02:12 PM
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