Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson officially suspended his campaign for president today during a speech at the CPAC conservative political event in Washington. Carson said he would continue fighting for the betterment of the nation in other ways.
“I did the math, I looked at the delegate count, looked at the states, looked at the requirements,” he said. “I realized it simply wasn’t going to happen and if that’s the case, I didn’t want to interfere with the process.”
“Even though I might be leaving the campaign trail, you know there’s a lot of people who love me, they just won’t vote for me. But I will still continue to be heavily involved in trying to save our nation,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, it was announced that Carson will serve as national chairman of My Faith Votes, a group focused on Christian voter turnout.
“I’ll be involved in a lot of different things including My Faith Votes, an organization that is going to try to help the faith community recognize how important their vote is,” he told CPAC.
“Nothing is more important to me than my personal faith, and it is my faith that motivated me to be involved in the political process to begin with,” Carson said in a video statement posted to the group’s website Friday.
“I believe Christians in this country can easily determine the next president of the United States and all other national and local leaders, should they simply show up at the polls,” he said.
After poor showings in the most recent primary and caucus states, pro-life voters wondered when Carson would exit the campaign. Those pro-life voters who support pro-life candidates Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio over Donald Trump have specifically said they think Carson is drawing votes from the two senators and making it easier for Trump to gain the nomination.
However, some political observers say the contingent of Republicans who have supported Carson may back Trump because they view Carson as a political outsider in the same vein.
In February, Carson said he is possibly interested in becoming Donald Trump’s running mate should the businessman secure the GOP nomination.
“I certainly would sit down and discuss it with him,” he told Fox Business host Neil Cavuto today. But he added that he would only take the running mate spot if he determined that he and Trump share a “philosophical alignment.”
“I would have to have major philosophical alignment with whoever it was,” he said. “I would have to have guarantees that I could do some substantial things.”
During the interview Carson would not say if thee are any candidates he would decline to run with as the vice presidential nominee.