- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Following a poor performance on Super Tuesday, Ben Carson announced on Wednesday that he sees no “path forward” in the race for the Republican nomination and will not attend Thursday’s Fox News GOP debate in his hometown of Detroit.
“I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results,” Carson said in a statement. “However, this grassroots movement on behalf of ‘We the People’ will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for president, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.”
“Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America,” he added.
Carson said he will address his political future on Friday in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C.
The soft-spoken retired neurosurgeon, who actually led Donald Trump in the Republican race in early polls, finished a disappointing fourth or fifth in all 11 of Tuesday’s GOP contests.
Ben Carson is bathed in a haze of purple backlight as he speaks during a primary night party in Baltimore, Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AP)
Carson’s unlikely rise among the ranks of Republican hopefuls began in 2013 at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, where he criticized Obamacare with President Obama seated just a few feet away.
“What we need to do is come up with something simple,” Carson said. “When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record and a health savings account to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born till the time you die.”
As recently as November, Carson was neck and neck with Trump in several states, including South Carolina.
But mounting questions surrounding the 64-year-old’s colorful biography, coupled with an admitted lack of foreign policy chops and a series of controversial comments on the campaign trail, ultimately derailed Carson.
During the Iowa caucuses, Carson flew home to Florida for a “change of clothes” — a move that was interpreted by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s rival GOP campaign as Carson pulling out of the race, and broadcast by Cruz’s operatives.
Cruz subsequently apologized, but Carson and other Republican candidates accused the Texas senator — who won Iowa — of playing dirty.
“I’m not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Sen. Cruz,” Carson said days later during a Republican debate. “I will say I was disappointed that members of his team thought so little of me that they thought after having hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers and college students who sacrificed their time and were dedicated to the cause — one even died — to think that I would just walk away 10 minutes before the caucus.”
On Tuesday night in Baltimore, Carson told his supporters he was not quite ready to quit.
“As I’ve had an opportunity to study our system, it has become a little bit discouraging seeing all the relationships that exist there,” he said. “It is rotten to the core on both sides, Democrats and Republicans. And they have weaved such a complex web, it will be very, very difficult to untangle it. But I’m not ready to quit trying to untangle it yet.”