With rank-and-file conservatives excited about the prospect that Ben Carson will run for president, the Republican establishment is worried that the retired African-American neurosurgeon's socially conservative views will alienate moderate voters and contribute to a drawn-out battle for the nomination, The New York Times
Carson, who pulled himself up from poverty, argues that government welfare creates a culture of dependency.
He is also known for his vehement opposition to President Barack Obama's healthcare plan, recently tweeting: "Why was it necessary to disrupt entire medical system to take care of the needs of 15 percent of the people?" He has characterized Obamacare as "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," the Times reported.
Further, Carson worries that changing the traditional definition of marriage is a slippery slope that could see those favoring pedophilia demanding acceptance.
He sees a resemblance between the United States under Obama
and Germany under Hitler.
And he opposes granting legal status to any immigrants who are unlawfully in the country.
Carson has substantial grassroots support in Iowa. An October poll of likely caucus participants gave him 11 points, putting him just behind Mitt Romney.
The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee
, an autonomous group with no ties to Carson, has raised — and reportedly spent — close to $12.2 million promoting his candidacy.
Carson adviser Armstrong Williams is concerned that the group benefits the people who run it more than the potential candidate, the Times reports.
John Philip Sousa, who launched the draft Carson committee last year, said "We're spending a lot of time working on Iowa. We have committee chairman in all 99 counties. We're paying a lot of attention to Iowa and how we knock everybody else out of the box," CNN
Carson is expected to announce his candidacy by May 1, the Times said.
Attorney Terry Giles, who would be Carson's official campaign chairman, anticipates having to pull together $100 million for the first four primaries from small donors.
To make a viable run, Carson would ultimately need to compete with more conventional candidates for contributors, according to the Times.
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