Ben Carson on running for president: 'I think the likelihood is strong'

Dr. Ben Carson garnered attention in 2013 when he criticized Democratic policies on taxes and health care.

Story highlights

  • Dr. Ben Carson says there's a "strong" chance he'll run for president in 2016
  • Carson is a renowned neurosurgeon who rose to GOP fame last year
  • He says he'll make his decision by May
Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon who rose to GOP fame last year, has long hinted that he's interested in a 2016 presidential run, and Monday he said the likelihood of him jumping in the race is "strong."
"I think the chances are reasonably good of that happening," he said on the conservative Hugh Hewitt radio show. "I'm waiting, you know, obviously, for a few more months. I want to make sure that it's clearly something my fellow Americans want me to do."
The conservative activist announced last month he was forming a political action committee, One Nation PAC.
He reiterated Monday, as he has said previously, that he'll wait to see the midterm results in November before he makes a final decision.
"Unless the American people indicate in November that they like big government intervention in every part of their lives, I think the likelihood is strong," he said, when asked again whether he'll run for the Republican presidential nomination.
He said he would make his decision before May, a later time frame than other potential candidates have signaled.
Pressed on whether Carson, who has little political experience, could break past what could possibly be a crowded GOP field of candidates, Carson said, "I've been talking all of my life."
"And I will continue to talk. You know, I will never be a politician. I will tell you that right of the bat," he said.
Carson became popular in conservative circles in 2013 when he criticized Democratic policies on taxes and health care while giving the keynote address in front of President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast. He has a strong grassroots following.
In the past year, Carson has made headlines for making inflammatory comments, such as comparing Obamacare to slavery and the United States to Nazi Germany. He also withdrew from two speaking gigs after facing protests over his comments about same-sex marriage.