CNN: Ben Carson: ‘I am leaving the campaign trail’
Carson to chair Christian group
Earlier Friday, My Faith Votes announced Carson as its new national chairman, putting out a statement ahead of Carson’s address to CPAC.
“Nothing is more important to me than my personal faith, and it is my faith that motivated me to be involved in the political process to begin with,” Carson said in a statement. “I believe Christians in this country can easily determine the next president of the United States and all other national and local leaders, should they simply show up at the polls.”
The tax-exempt nonprofit educational group says it will undertake a national media campaign that will gather steam into the November presidential election.
“In the last four presidential elections, an average of less than five million votes separated the major candidates.” My Faith Votes President Sealy Yates, said in a statement. “Yet, more than 25 million Christians didn’t bother to even show up at the polls in 2012.”
Carson repeated the message
in a video on the group’s website, saying it’s his goal to encourage all Christians in “exercising our civic duty and voting.”
The group said Carson agreed to take on the position the same day he announced he could not see a “path forward” for his presidential campaign on Wednesday. He did not participate in the GOP debate on Thursday.
Asked if the new job would preclude him from endorsing a fellow candidate, Carson confidante and business manager Armstrong Williams said he was “never” going to endorse a candidate.
Speculation had abounded about Carson’s next move. CNN’s Dana Bash reported
that GOP operatives planned to reach out to Carson to encourage him to run for the Florida Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio instead of president.
Carson ruled that out in the news conference after his CPAC speech on Friday.
“It’s not something I want to do,” Carson said. “Politics and running for political office is never something that I was particularly interested in doing.”