National Journal’s Alex Seitz-Wald reported yesterday on the high visibility at CPAC of those who want Ben Carson to run for president. The Draft Ben Carson for President Committee has a booth in the exhibit area and the shuttle bus I rode between the suburban Maryland conference center and downtown D.C. was plastered with a large banner urging Carson to run.
Carson, an African American pediatric neurosurgeon, has had a fervent right-wing following since he used his appearance with President Obama at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast to denounce political correctness and suggest that the Bible supports a flat tax. (He made the same case as CPAC last year.) Carson appeals to anti-government conservatives by calling to phase out government poverty assistance and let churches and other charities deal with the fallout. And he appeals to Religious Right activists by claiming there is a “war on God” in America and by denouncing homosexuality and opposing same-sex marriage. He has claimed that the IRS has targeted his family and associates and says the Obama administration is like the Gestapo and wants to shut down Fox News.
The National Journal quotes committee director Vernon Robinson saying that if Carson can draw just 17 percent of the black vote, “the Roosevelt Democratic coalition is destroyed” and it will be impossible for Democrats to win the White House.
Robinson makes the same case in a direct mail piece I received this week. The mailer itself unfolds into a Ben Carson poster, and includes letters from Robinson and from the group’s “national chairman” John Philip Sousa IV. “I am convinced that no 2016 Republican ticket can win without Ben Carson on it,” writes Robinson. “Only Ben Carson can get enough black votes to keep the Democrats from winning the White House.”
Sousa’s letter says Carson is the only candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton, heal America and unite Americans. “Don’t just sit back and let the Republican establishment pick the next GOP nominee!” Sousa urges, taking direct aim at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:
Besides, do you really want a candidate for President who is just another big spending Republican like Christie? And, can you really trust Christie who was pro-abortion before he was pro-life to nominate pro-life judges to the U.S. Supreme Court?
The simple truth is that moderates like McCain and Christie are sure to lose, while conservatives like Ronald Reagan and Ben Carson are sure to win.
Seitz-Wald reports that the committee to draft Carson raised $2.83 million in its first six months of operation.