Ruptured Faith: Ben Carson Pulls Out Presidential Race

Published on March 3rd, 2016
After reassuring supporters in Baltimore that we would stay in the race, Dr. Ben Carson announces the next day that he's bowing out of the GOP debate.Kyela Wilson/Howard University News Service

After reassuring supporters in Baltimore that we would stay in the race, Dr. Ben Carson announces the next day that he’s bowing out of the GOP debate.

BALTIMORE — Dr. Ben Carson says he will not attend the GOP Fox News debate on Thursday night, in what appeared to be his announcement to drop out the race.

“I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results,” Carson said in a statement on his campaign website.

His announcement came shortly after his Super Tuesday election night party in downtown Baltimore, just miles from Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was once a celebrated neurosurgeon. More than 100 supporters and other attendees flooded the Corinthian Room of the Grand Hotel, anxiously watching the poll results roll in.

Many were disappointed by the numbers, but Carson assured attendees that he was staying in the race during his speech at the party.

“As I have had the opportunity to study our system, it has become a little discouraging seeing all of the relationships that exist there,” he said. “It is rotten. It is rotten to the core on both sides, Democratic and Republican. They have weaved such a complex web, that it will be very, very difficult to untangle it. But I’m not ready to quit trying to untangle it yet.”

Carson did not win a single state during Super Tuesday, nor has he won any state caucus or presidential primary thus far. He averaged third place among the five last standing GOP candidates. However, campaign member Lindsay Perry rested on religion, saying that Carson would continue to push forward.

“I know that Carson will be staying in the race,” Perry said Tuesday night. “Those seeking the GOP nomination started out with 17 viable candidates, and now he is one of five. So I think that ‘We the People’ have propelled him forward, and as long as God keeps opening doors, he’ll keep walking through.”

Carson’s religious views seemed to have resonated among his supporters at the event as well. One of the first attendees in the room was Fulton Letournenu who said that he supported Carson because he appreciates his honesty.

“He’s the only honest man that’s there, and he quotes the Bible and doesn’t misquote it like Trump has,” Letournenu said.

Not more than a quarter of African Americans made up the audience at Carson’s election party in Baltimore. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, only 55 percent of black participants feel that Carson cares about the needs of people like them. The survey included 1,453 registered voters, including 672 Republicans.

Tamu Davenport, an African-American woman and avid Carson supporter, thinks otherwise.

“If I want a president for my family, if I want a president for America, I’m voting Ben Carson,” Davenport said.

Before the polls closed on Super Tuesday, Carson called his opponents to have a “serious discussion” of the issues at hand before the upcoming Fox debate, along with what he calls a “lack of civility” within the primary race.

“The American people deserve so much more from the candidates who are seeking the most powerful position in the free world, and I share their concern that this race has taken a turn for the worse, to the point of embarrassment on the world stage,” Carson said.

Coming in second place to frontrunner Donald Trump was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won three states including Texas, the biggest single prize of the night.

Parallel to Dr. Carson’s concerns, Cruz called for unity among Republicans as well in in order to defeat Donald Trump during an interview with ABC’s “Your Voice, Your Vote.”

Cruz said Trump would ultimately lose against Hillary Clinton if he is chosen as the GOP candidate. So far Trump has won every state primary and caucus except for those in Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska and Minnesota. He now leads the race with 319 delegates and needs 918 to win the GOP nomination, according to Associated Press.

Miesha Miller is a reporter for the Howard University News Service.

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