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Ben Carson closes the door on presidential run

Dr. Ben Carson
Dr. Ben Carson
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Ever since Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, author of several books, a philanthropist and a commentator on public issues confronted President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast on a number of social and fiscal issues, many people have wondered whether he might be persuaded to run for president of the United States. There is even a national campaign to draft Dr. Carson to run in 2016. However, in an interview published in Rare on Saturday, Carson seems to have closed the door on that possibility.

“Why would any sane person want to do that? I mean have you noticed that everybody who goes in that office after about three years looks like they’ve been there 20 years.”

This very Shermanesque response caused the interviewer to quip that as a doctor, Carson might not recommend doing something like run for president. However though he is not seeking public office, Carson is still commenting on public issues, not all of them health care about which he has an obvious expertise. He is selling a new book, “One Nation,” in which he lays out some of his thinking on issues of national concern. He has been mentioned for appointed posts in a future Republican administration like Surgeon General or Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Run Ben Run campaign suggests that people who are interested in seeing Carson, despite his reluctance, to become president to take a number of actions. Including signing a petition, praying, writing letters to the editor, and even writing his name in during the 2016 primaries. Carson has a remarkable life story, having struggled up from abject poverty to the top of the medical professions. His political views and policy prescriptions tend to be on the conservative side. On the other side of the ledger, history has shown that the presidency is not an entry level political job.

Not all conservatives are thrilled about a Carson for President run. Commentator Dan Loesch suggests that his views on gun control constitutes a “deal killer.” The conservative news site Red State suggests that this stems from an answer to a question posed by Glenn Beck about guns. Carson suggested that he would prefer that some people, based on their geographic location, not have access to semi-automatic weapons. The suggestion is made that Dr. Carson needs to clarify his thinking if he changes his mind and runs for elected office.