- Ben Carson is calling on the five Republican presidential candidates to all gather
- Carson said 'this race has taken a turn for the worse"
In a statement, Carson, a long-shot in a race dominated by Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, said that "this race has taken a turn for the worse, to the point of embarrassment on the world stage."
He blamed the race's negativity -- which in recent days has featured Trump mocking Rubio's perspiration and Rubio joking about the size of Trump's fingers -- on the media.
"If we are to defeat our Democratic opponent in the general election this November, we must reach an agreement together with each other that we will not succumb to the media's desire for a fight on the stage in Detroit," Carson said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
The statement said Carson is reaching out to each candidate by phone in an effort to set up a meeting in the hours before Thursday's Fox News debate.
Carson has been a low-key presence in debates, as his foes have squared off in high-profile exchanges while he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have largely watched.
"I am confident that the five remaining candidates can rise above the sophomoric attacks of past encounters and have a serious discussion about substantive issues and how we will lead our nation forward toward a more prosperous and secure future," he said. "America's children and grandchildren are depending on us to fight for them and future generations, not fight each other."