Ben Carson launches conservative think tank

Ben Carson launches conservative think tank
© Bonnie Cash

Former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBen CarsonRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Government indoctrination, whether 'critical' or 'patriotic,' is wrong MORE announced Wednesday that he’s launching a conservative think tank. 

Carson, a former neurosurgeon who served as the Trump administration's only HUD chief, said his think tank, the American Cornerstone Institute, will provide “common-sense solutions to some of our nation’s biggest problems” and be centered around the “cornerstones” of faith, liberty, community and life.

“The American Cornerstone Institute will be dedicated to creating dialogue and smart discourse. ACI will focus on promoting and preserving individual and religious liberty, helping our country’s most vulnerable find new hope, and developing methods to maximize government’s efficiency and effectiveness to best serve all our nation’s citizens,” Carson wrote in RealClearPolitics

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He added that he would push the think tank to promote unity at a time when the country — and the GOP — are fiercely divided. 

“We must do better than this. I miss the days when Americans fought united for freedom and justice for all — equally. I miss when compromise, compassion, and civility were not only encouraged but celebrated, where individuals accepted the consequences of their actions, when politicians pursued the public good, not just their own good,” he wrote. 

Carson came onto the conservative scene with a long shot presidential bid in 2016 that briefly gained traction during the GOP primary. 

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE tapped him to lead HUD despite his not having much relevant experience. He largely avoided the spotlight during his time leading the department.

Carson is the latest former Trump official to land in the think tank world. Former Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoSaluting FOIA on its birthday House passes bill to strengthen authority of federal watchdogs Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' MORE and former Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoState Department watchdog probing whether Trump aides took gifts meant for foreign officials Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary Biden slips further back to failed China policies MORE are joining the conservative Hudson Institute.

Few former officials have found lofty perches in the private sector as is typical for those who worked in top jobs in an administration.