Ben Carson Announces 2016 Presidential Run –


Image: Repubican presidental candidate Ben Carson speaks to the media at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in DetroitREBECCA COOK / Reuters

Repubican presidental candidate Ben Carson speaks to the media at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan May 4, 2015. Carson announced in television interviews on Sunday that he is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and is expected to hold a formal announcement event in Detroit later Monday. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson urged Americans to “use your brain” when he formally launched his presidential campaign in Detroit on Monday.

“Stop being loyal to a party or to a man and use your brain to think for yourself,” he told supporters.

Carson, whose 29 years as a pediatric neurosurgeon earned him national acclaim, announced his presidential bid in his hometown where he was raised in poverty by a single mother. He used his biography to illustrate his belief that individual hard work, not help from the government, is the key to success.

“We’ve gone far beyond what our Constitution describes and we’ve begun to just allow it to expand based on what the political class wants because they want to increase their power and their dominion over the people,” Carson said. “And I think it’s time for the people to rise up and take the government back.”

The 63-year-old gained notoriety among tea party conservatives in 2013 when he lambasted President Barack Obama’s healthcare law at the National Prayer Breakfast while the president sat just a few feet away. More recently, the outspoken Republican had to apologize for saying homosexuality is a choice because people “go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay.”

“I’m not politically correct and I’m probably never going to be politically correct because I’m not a politician, I don’t want to be a politician,” Carson said. “Politicians do what is politically expedient and I want to do what’s right.”

Carson told supporters his campaign would be unique from anything the country has seen before, and his announcement at the Detroit Music Hall seemed to reflect that. A choir sang Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” before Carson came out and delivered his remarks while pacing back and forth on the stage.

Carson becomes the first African-American to join an already diverse GOP presidential field. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are vying to become the country’s first Hispanic president, while former Hewlett-Packard CEO declared Monday that she is running to become the first female president.

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 41 percent of GOP primary voters said they could see themselves supporting Carson, while 18 percent said they do not imagine supporting him.

– Andrew Rafferty



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“I gotta pay our bills. And I also give a lot of it to the foundation every year.”

“,”class”:”pullquote”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”As he walked between the white tents set up at the Savelberg Retreat Center, he addressed the controversy that’s been making headlines 7,000 miles away.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy,” he said. “That just hasn’t happened.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”It’s unclear if the new ban on foreign money, along with an agreement to update donor lists more frequently, will quiet insinuations that overseas contributions to the foundation — accounting for more than half of those who gave $5 million or more — bought access to the woman who may become the next president of the United States.”},{“type”:”image”,”url”:””,”caption”:”Former President Bill Clinton tours projects in Africa.”,”credit”:”Jake Whitman”,”source”:””,”title”:””,”alt_text”:””,”half_size_image”:false,”image_hyperlink”:null,”width”:2500,”height”:1406},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”But Bill Clinton says he’s not worried about the criticism, brushing it off as “political.” He quoted his wife as telling him: “No one has ever tried to influence me by helping you.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”He claimed there has been a “very concerted effort to bring the foundation down” and said he might even step down as its head if his wife is elected.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””I might if I were asked to do something in the public interest that I had an obligation to do. Or I might take less of an executive role,” he said. “But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”One thing he won’t stop doing: giving high-priced speeches, even though he acknowledges being a wealthy man these days, reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””I gotta pay our bills,” he said. “And I also give a lot of it to the foundation every year.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The fees — $500,000 or more for 11 speeches while his wife was Secretary of State — are justified, he insisted.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””I spend a couple of hours a day just doing the research. People like to hear me speak,” he said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””We do our best to vet them,” he said of the groups that pay for his talks. “And I have turned down a lot of them. If I think there’s something wrong with it, I don’t take it.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”He also says he has turned down donations to the foundation — though he won’t say from where.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””Since I turned it down, I don’t need to talk about it,” he said. “We’ve got over 300,000 donors and 90 percent of them have given $100 or less.””},{“type”:”blockquote”,”html”:”

“All I’m saying is the idea that there’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true.”

“,”class”:”pullquote”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Throughout the interview, Clinton repeatedly turned to the question of transparency, declaring that his foundation discloses more about the source of its donations than those of other ex-presidents.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Asked about a series of tax forms on which the foundation did not list any contributions under a section for donations from governments — rolling the sum into overall revenue, instead of breaking it out — Clinton said it was an innocent mistake.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””The guy that filled out the forms made an error,” he said. “Now that is a bigger problem, according to the press, than the other people running for president willing to take dark money, secret money, secret from beginning to end.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The problem, he said, is not that the Clintons don’t have to play by the rules that apply to everyone else — it’s that the family is held to a higher standard.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””People should draw their own conclusions. I’m not in politics,” the former president said. “All I’m saying is the idea that there’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””The people who have attacked the foundation have practiced selective nondisclosure,” he added, “I really trust the American people to figure it out. I always have. And so far, I haven’t been disappointed.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”If he was troubled by the criticism at home it was not evident as he patiently posed for pictures, shook hands and talked at every stop with dozens – sometimes hundreds – of people. He was clearly touched by the kids who often welcomed him with songs written just for his visit.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Clinton said all the work — the long hours and often rough travel — is worth it.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””The lives we save and the impact we’ve had,” he said, “I’m proud of it.””}],”summary”:”The ex-president says the big-bucks donations didn’t buy influence with his wife.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:false,”show_on_cover”:true,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”standout_article”:false,”copyright”:””,”cover_art”:{“caption”:”Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, center, greets participants at the Kasarani Sports Complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, May 2, 2015. Clinton and his daughter Chelsea are on a nine-day tour of Clinton Foundation projects in Africa. “,”url”:””,”credit”:”Sayyid Azim”,”source”:”AP”,”alt_text”:”Image:”,”width”:2500,”height”:1609,”title”:”Image:”},”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”″,”short_url”:”″,”title_url_slug”:”bill-clinton-defends-his-foundations-foreign-money”,”original_canonical_url”:”″,”source”:”NBC News”,”seo_slug”:”bill-clinton-defends-his-foundations-foreign-money”,”seo_headline”:””,”headline_breaking_news”:””,”pinned”:false,”source_type”:”author”,”news_keywords”:null,”video”:{“type”:””,”widget_type”:””,”videoType”:”Broadcast”,”mpxId”:”439029315675″,”guid”:”tdy_cynthia_clinton_150504″,”pubDate”:”2015-05-04 11:23:00 Z”,”expirationDate”:”2112-10-22 11:23:00 Z”,”playbackIsDisabled”:false,”availabilityState”:”available”,”title”:”Bill Clinton Defends His Foundation’s Foreign Money”,”description”:”The ex-president says the big-bucks donations didn’t buy influence with his wife.”,”thumbnail”:””,”source”:”TODAY”,”sourceId”:null,”canonicalUrl”:”″,”shortUrl”:”″,”associatedPlaylistUrl”:”″,”fallbackPlaylistUrl”:null,”topVideosPlaylistUrl”:”″,”mezzVersion”:”1″,”embedUrl”:”″,”videoAssets”:[{“format”:”MPEG4″,”assetType”:”Limelight MP4″,”publicUrl”:””,”width”:”640″,”height”:”360″,”bitRate”:”800000″,”privateUrl”:null},{“format”:”ISM”,”assetType”:”Smooth_1″,”publicUrl”:””,”width”:”1464″,”height”:”824″,”bitRate”:”3763968″,”privateUrl”:null},{“format”:”MPEG4″,”assetType”:”Limelight MP4″,”publicUrl”:””,”width”:”420″,”height”:”240″,”bitRate”:”500000″,”privateUrl”:null},{“format”:”MPEG4″,”assetType”:”OnceURL”,”publicUrl”:”″,”width”:”0″,”height”:”0″,”bitRate”:”0″,”privateUrl”:null}],”duration”:425,”hasCaption”:false},”type”:”videospread”,”headline”:”Bill Clinton Defends His Foundation’s Foreign Money”,”headline_cover”:”Exclusive: Bill Clinton Defends Foundation’s Foreign Money”,”headline_slug”:”bill-clinton-defends-his-foundations-foreign-money”,”social_headline”:”Bill Clinton Defends His Foundation’s Foreign Money”,”bylines”:[{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:null,”show_or_site”:null,”twitter_handle”:null,”email”:null,”bio”:”

Cynthia McFadden is the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News. Before joining NBC News, she co-anchored Nightline at ABC News from 2004 to 2014. She has won Emmy, Peabody, and duPont awards, among others, and interviewed a number of world leaders, including the presidents of the United States, Pakistan, Rwanda and Chile. She has reported from a wide variety of international hot spots, including Haiti, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Bosnia, El Salvador, Rwanda, South Africa, Pakistan, India, Russia and China. A native of Maine, McFadden graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Bowdoin College, and received her law degree from Columbia University.

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Jake Whitman is a producer at NBC News. He was previously a producer at ABC News, where he worked at “Nightline” and “World News with Diane Sawyer,” and at MSNBC.

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