Former Florida Congressman Allen West and retired brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson may both become presidential candidates in 2016.
Presumably both would run for president as Republicans.
Both men are currently regulars on the cable news channel circuit.
Col. West, an Iraq combat veteran and Tea Party favorite, won a House seat in Florida’s 22nd Congressional district in 2010. In so doing, he became the first African-American Republican Congressman from Florida since 1876. Owing to redistricting, he ran in the 18th Congressional district in 2012, and narrowly lost to Democrat nominee Patrick Murphy amidst allegations of vote fraud and sketchy practices by local election officials. He may have gotten some bad legal advice in not fully contesting the outcome.
West declined the opportunity of a rematch with Murphy this year, but the seat is expected to tip back to the GOP in the upcoming November election.
Yesterday on Ben Shapiro’s radio show, West said that he might launch a presidential bid after encountering lots of well-wishers during a cross-country motorcycle trip who asked him about it.
“It would be very disrespectful and dismissive of great Americans if I did not step back and take the time to consider it and pray about it and talk it over with close confidantes. So that what I will do. And we will make the right decision, not just for me but for the country and for the future of this great constitutional republic. So am I considering it? Yes. I am considering it. That does not mean I am going to jump it and do it, but in respect to those people who are so very kind and believe that I have that level of capacity and capability, that’s what I have to do for them.”
Last year, West indicated he might run for the US Senate from Florida if incumbent Marco Rubio runs for president. Rubio has already vowed that he wouldn’t do both.
Dr. Carson is also considering tossing his stethoscope into the ring. Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, rose to national prominence in the political realm after slamming Obamacare and political correctness at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Carson revealed late last year that he was subject to a first-time IRS audit after going public with Obamacare criticism.
In an interview this week, Carson — like West — also claimed that people around the country are encouraging him to seek the presidency “because every place I go, it’s unbelievable, including one lady who “really touched me the other night … She just kept clinging to my hand and said, ‘You have to run. You have to run.’ And so many people tell me that, and so I think I’m starting to hear something.”
Added Carson about the challenges of mounting a presidential campaign: “It’s a daunting thing. I know how vehemently the left will come after you, try to destroy you, try to destroy your family. But at the same time I recognize that people like Nathan Hale — he said, ‘My only regret is I have but one life to give to my country’ … And if everybody runs for the hills because they’re afraid that somebody is going to attack them or their family, then [the left] will have won.”
Would you consider voting for either Allen West or Ben Carson for president?
[image credit: Gage Skidmore]