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Ben Carson: I Will Announce 2016 Decision First Week of May

Ben Carson: I Will Announce 2016 Decision First Week of May
(Caroline Jean/TNS/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 April 2015 12:15 PM

Potential presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson further refined his timetable for deciding whether he will toss his hat in the ring for the 2016 GOP nomination, informing a national audience Tuesday night that he now expects to announce a decision in "the first week in May."

Carson’s announcement came during a TeleForum presented by his presidential exploratory committee, Carson America.

The retired Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon spent over an hour fielding questions from around the country, many of them from callers urging him to run. Indeed, several callers appeared to assume he was running already.

Editor's Note: Ben Carson for President? See His Vision . . .

Asked directly by one caller when he would make his decision, Carson gave a refreshingly direct answer: "I will more than likely make an announcement one way or the other the first week in May," he said.

Carson had previously indicated he would decide by the spring or, alternatively, by May 1.
Asked what issues would need to be resolved for him to move forward, Carson sounded like a soon-to-be candidate who sees the elements of a prospective campaign rapidly falling into place.

"We want to make sure we have a strong team in place, which we are very rapidly approaching," he said. "I am actually a person who is actually is extremely fiscally responsible. I never like to be in debt.

"I want to be sure we have many months of excess funding to take care of any eventuality that comes up," Carson said. "Thanks to the tens of thousands of people who have donated, we are rapidly approaching that, and I am looking forward to getting involved."

Teleconference host Armstrong Williams, the columnist and author who manages Carson’s business matters, announced that 35,000 people had made donations in just the first 28 days following the establishment of Carson’s exploratory committee.

Carson remarked on the call: "We’ve been just so overwhelmed by the number of people who’ve participated, tens of thousands of people who’ve called in and made donations.

"They’re small donations, but they add up," he said. "If I decide to run, I really want to run as a candidate of the people, and not as a candidate of special interest groups and people who give big donations and expect big favors for them."

Editor's Note: Ben Carson for President? See His Vision . . .

Among the positions Carson shared during the wide-ranging teleconference:
  • He described the right to bear arms as a linchpin of American liberty. "I believe the Second Amendment is an extremely important part of our Constitution," he stated, "and it is there for a very good reason."
  • The former surgeon said that just complaining about Obamacare isn’t enough. "I think it’s very important that Congress present an alternative rather than just go in and say, 'Let’s get rid of Obamacare,'" he told his listeners. "There are several things being worked on that have the principal of trying to reestablish the patient as the person in control."
  • He gave an impassioned account of his position on the right to life: "I spent my entire professional life trying to save and preserve lives. I’ve even operated on babies that were in the womb, in an attempt to save their lives and increase the quality of life. So I don’t think it would be hard for anyone to imagine that I would be very much in favor of life."
  • He attributed much of the controversy over religious freedom in Indiana and Arkansas to misunderstandings. "I would hope that there wouldn’t be much controversy over something as fundamental to freedom in America as freedom of religion," he said. "But unfortunately, we’ve reached a place in our society where we try to read too much into everything."
  • He indicated an openness to deploying U.S. ground troops in order to defeat Islamic extremists. "As far as ISIS is concerned, and not just ISIS but all the radical Islamic terrorist movements, I think there’s really only one way to look at them: We need to wipe them out, we need to destroy them," he said. "We need to use every tool available to us. I’m talking about negotiations, I’m talking about the banking industry, I’m talking about oil, I’m talking about boots on the ground. I’m talking about anything that is necessary, because we have two options: We let them destroy us, or we destroy them."
  • When a caller questioned his support for government involvement in childhood vaccinations, Carson termed it a "public safety issue," adding: "I think there are certain diseases, smallpox, polio, that have pretty much been eradicated because of our vaccination program. I would be very reticent to back off of those sorts of things just because somebody thinks the government is forcing them to do it."
  • He also indicated that modifying the current U.S. ban on crude oil exports could generate funds to help pay down the national debt.
One of the most interesting exchanges of the evening came when a caller urged Carson to run and quoted the scriptural passage: "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice."

Carson quickly remarked, "I see you’ve been reading from the book of Proverbs. That’s very good," thereby indicating his familiarity with that scripture.

Editor's Note: Ben Carson for President? See His Vision . . .

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Potential GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson further refined his timetable for deciding whether he will toss his hat in the ring for the 2016 GOP nomination, informing a national audience Tuesday night that he now expects to announce a decision in "the first week in...
Ben Carson, 2016, decision, may, presidency
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2015-15-01
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 12:15 PM
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