Carson: ‘I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States of America’
© Greg Nash

Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson's affordable housing idea drawing undue flak Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules it says are too lax MORE announced his 2016 White House campaign in an interview broadcast late Sunday by a Cincinnati TV station.


“I’m willing to be part of the equation and, therefore, I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States of America,” Carson told WKRC.

“Many people have suggested to me that I should run for president, even though I’m not a politician,” the Republican added.

“I began to ask myself, 'Why are people clamoring for me to do this?' I represented a lot of the same thoughts that they have,” Carson said during the interview. “I’m not 100 percent sure politics as usual is going to save us.” 

When asked what he has learned from controversies over his comments on ObamaCare and homosexuality, the retired neurosurgeon said, “I don’t wander off into those extraneous areas that can be exploited. I have learned that.”

Carson apologized earlier this year for saying gay people chose their sexuality, and people "go into prison straight and, when they come out, they're gay.”

In 2013, Carson said ObamaCare is the worst thing to happen to the United States since slavery.

Carson rose to prominence that same year with a controversial speech aimed at President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.

In his prayer breakfast speech, which electrified Republicans, 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.”

He is expected to formally launch his campaign on Monday from his hometown of Detroit.

Republican observers are enthused by the added diversity to the 2016 field that Carson, the only African-American candidate, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who’s likely to be the only woman GOP candidate, bring.

Fiorina is also expected to announce her candidacy on Monday, joining GOP Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.), who have already launched their 2016 bids.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is expected to launch his second bid for president from his hometown of Hope, Ark., on Tuesday. Huckabee will be fighting for votes with Carson, who has a strong base of grassroots support.

Once near the top of the polls, Carson has also seen his support drop in recent weeks after other candidates’ announcements.

He is currently in eighth place, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, taking 4.8 percent support among Republicans.

— Jonathan Easley contributed to this report, which was last updated at 8:38 p.m.