Ben Carson Says He’s ‘Leaving the Campaign Trail’ in CPAC Speech

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson officially announced that he’s leaving the 2016 campaign trail at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.

The 2016 hopeful, who had said he saw no political path forward to win the nomination the other day, made it official a ways into his speech at the conference at National Harbor.

“Now that I am leaving the campaign trail,” he said, then trailed off. The audience at the Gaylord hotel at National Harbor responded with cheers and a standing ovation.

Ben Carson attends an election night party in Baltimore on March 1. ( AP/Jose Luis Magana)
Ben Carson attends an election night party in Baltimore on March 1. ( AP/Jose Luis Magana)

“There’s a lot of people who love me, they just want to vote for me,” he said. “I’ll still be involved in a lot of different things.”

At the beginning of his speech, Carson hinted at where his remarks were headed by thanking his supporters and mentioning Braden Joplin, a 25-year-old staffer who was killed in a van accident while volunteering for his campaign in Iowa.

“I guarantee you that Candy and I and our whole family love this nation,” he said, adding that he could quit now and live his life in luxury. But he added: “I can’t do that knowing the next generation is in trouble, and we will do everything we can to preserve the greatness of America.”

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