Politics

Ben Carson Is Becoming A Contender In 2016 GOP Field

| by Edward Arnold
Ben Carson.Ben Carson.

To become a potential Republican contender for president, you should play well in Iowa. Ben Carson has done just that, and he isn't stopping there.

The former pediatric neurosurgeon, made famous after his public opposition to the Affordable Care Act, often labeled Obamacare, has become a political contender in the GOP 2016 field. After speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit, Carson came in fifth in the Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll.

Appealing to conservatives by talking about securing the borders and illegal immigration, Carson has been on the rise, receiving 9 percent of first choice votes and 10 percent of second place votes.

“I’ve been beefing up,” Carson told The Hill. “I’ve always been interested in those things, so I already have a good base of knowledge about policy, but I’m studying up on the issues and talking to people and getting their takes as well. You can never know too much.”

Reports have suggested it is likely Carson already has a campaign manager and a finance director with a view to getting a 2016 presidential campaign rolling. He believes he has what it takes to take the Republican party to new heights.

"It’s time for the Republican Party to begin broadening its outreach to the communities they don’t typically address, not because (Republicans) don’t care, but I think because they’ve kind of conceded, and I don’t think you should concede anything,” Carson said.

Once a young liberal from Detroit, Carson grew up believing, “Republicans are mean, nasty racists that hate you.” Bloomberg found that Carson wrote papers in the past arguing for the same policies in the Affordable Care Act, something he strongly opposed more recently. His response, “things change.”

While his changing views have yet to hurt him, Carson will have to generate a lot of money if he decides to take his campaign across the nation.

“I’m focused on reaching people with my message, but I recognize it requires money,” Carson said. “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about that. People have demonstrated that they’re willing to provide resources. If they follow up on those promises, we’ll be fine. If not, then they’re telling me to get lost, and I will.”

Carson refuses to let pundits define him, especially as his comments turn off certain voters. He has gone on to say that Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery and has commended Islamic State fighters for dying for what they believe. His comments have also seen the public turn against him on gay marriage.

“There are a lot of people who say what they think people want to hear, say what it is political consultants tell them that they’re supposed to say,” he said. “I just don’t see any point in that. Even if you manage to fool the people and they elect you, that’s not who you are.” 

Sources: The HillBloomberg Iowa PollBloomberg / Photo Credit: Flickr