When Ben Carson speaks at CPAC on Saturday, hundreds of “Run, Ben, Run” banners could theoretically be unfurled. That’s because The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee super PAC has a solid presence. They had pictures of the neurosurgeon with a “Run Ben Run!” caption printed on attendees’ hotel card keys. And their booth in the exhibit hall was bustling when NRO visited.
The group is chaired by John Philip Sousa IV, who previously chaired Americans for Sheriff Joe. And Vernon Robinson, who tells NRO he raised $6 million over the course of three unsuccessful Congressional bids, is its campaign director. The organization also has an eighteen-member advisory board.
Carson hasn’t said anything to indicate he’s planning a run, but his supporters are optimistic. When the group first filed, Greta Van Susteren asked him if he had White House ambitions. Carson responded by describing a presidential bid as “not something I particularly want to do.” But he also said he wouldn’t interfere with efforts to draft him. For the Draft Ben Carson committee, that was enough.
“We decided that was a wink, and a pretty political wink,” Robinson says.
And in January, Carson told Newsmax’s Ben Hoffmann that if “there were a lot of people clamoring,” he’d consider a run. So the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee is clamoring away.