It begins: Conservative Ben Carson reportedly set to enter 2016 presidential race

The right-wing celebrity plans to introduce himself to voters with a 40-minute ad this weekend

Published November 6, 2014 8:24PM (EST)

  (Reuters/Mike Theiler)
(Reuters/Mike Theiler)

Mere days after Republicans routed Democrats in the midterm elections, neurosurgeon-turned-conservative pundit Ben Carson is slated to be the first major candidate to dive into the 2016 presidential race, ABC News reports.

Carson, who rose to conservative stardom after denouncing Obamacare in a 2013 address before the National Prayer Breakfast as President Obama sat feet away, will air a 40-minute ad this weekend designed to get voters acquainted with him. The ad, titled “A Breath of Fresh Air: A New Prescription for America," will air in 22 states and Washington, D.C.

Carson's National Prayer Breakfast speech generated calls for him to seek the presidency. A super PAC aimed at convincing Carson to run soon formed, while Carson's celebrity scored him a gig as a Fox News contributor. This September, Carson suggested that he'd mount a presidential bid as long as the GOP performed well in the midterms. With the Republicans having picked up the Senate and attained a historic House majority, that prerequisite has been fulfilled.

Assuming he enters the race, Carson's hard-right views will easily be among the most inflammatory of the 2016 field. He calls abortion "human sacrifice," does not accept the theory of evolution, and has compared homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia. Carson also wishes to abolish Medicare and Medicaid, replace welfare programs with private charity, and implement a flat income tax.

As with such headline-grabbing conservatives like Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann in 2012, early polls on the 2016 GOP race show Carson performing well. He finished second behind Mitt Romney in a recent poll of Iowa Republicans and won a recent GOP straw poll there, as well.

By Luke Brinker

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2016 Election Abortion Ben Carson Conservatives Evolution Flat Tax Gop Iowa Lgbt Medicaid Medicare Mitt Romney Welfare