By Justin Sink - 03/22/13 04:24 PM EDT
Rising GOP star Ben Carson said Thursday he would "seriously consider" a run for the presidency.
The Maryland neurosurgeon who electrified Republicans with a controversial speech challenging President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast told CNN he might run for the White House if a top candidate did not emerge in the Republican field.
“If a year and a half goes by, and people are still clamoring for me to do that, and there’s no other very good candidate, I would certainly have to seriously consider it,” Carson told CNN.
"So I’m not really planning on that,” he said.
Carson also hinted at a possible run in his speech last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He received a standing ovation from the crowd while speculating about what might happen if "you magically put me in the White House."
After his speech, Carson announced he was 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."
In his prayer breakfast speech, Carson criticized Obama's healthcare law and tax proposals with the president sitting nearby.
“I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful — nobody could even challenge them militarily … they destroyed themselves from within,” Carson said. “Moral decay. Fiscal irresponsibility.”
—Alexandra Jaffe contributed.