Obama's prayer breakfast critic considers a run for office

Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon who drew conservative attention following his controversial National Prayer Breakfast speech, said on Saturday that he's retiring from medicine and suggested he could enter politics.

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In a question-and-answer session following his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Carson announced that he is retiring from medicine because he wants "to quit while I'm at the top of my game, and there are so many more things that could be done."

Asked whether he planned to run for office, he demurred, saying he wants to focus on education — but at one point added, "but who knows what will happen?"

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Carson, during his speech, received a standing ovation and enthusiastic applause from the crowd when he speculated what might happen if "you magically put me in the White House."

Carson emerged as a player in the conservative movement after his speech at this year's National Prayer Breakfast, during which he criticized a number of President Obama's policies as the president sat nearby.

Critics called the remarks inappropriate at an ostensibly nonpartisan event, but Carson defended them, saying that "I don't believe that expressing your opinion, regardless of who's there, is being rude."