Dr. Ben Carson, the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who has become a conservative icon, says he will retire from medicine this year because, he said, "there are so many more things that can be done."
The Baltimore doctor, 62, who spoke Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, stopped short of announcing he would go into politics, but he had the crowd of activists cheering wildly at the idea that he might seek public office -- especially the White House.
"It's not brain surgery," he said several times during his remarks.
“Let’s say you magically put me in the White House,” he said, describing a hypothetical that drew the cheering crowd to its feet.
The doctor made it clear, again, that he feels strongly that President Obama and his supporters are taking the country in the wrong direction.
If someone in the White House were to set about destroying the United States, mr. Carson postulated, he or she would "create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now."
He cautioned, though, that both parties were to the blame for the country's divisive political atmosphere.
Asked directly if he intends to go into politics, he said, "Who knows what I might do."
Dr. Carson, who catapulted into the national political spotlight after criticizing President Obama and the Affordable Care Act at a prayer breakfast attended by the president in February, delivered a full-throated defense of conservative values and Christianity.
Dr. Carson's National Prayer Breakfast remarks from Feb. 7 can be seen here.
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