Name: Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson
Previous Experience: Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Philanthropist, Author
Signature Issue: Poverty/Opportunity. Much of Carson’s pitch rests on his incredible personal story. Caron was raised by a single mother in Detroit and, under his mother’s influence, worked hard through high school, attended Yale, and worked a variety of jobs to support himself before graduating medical school and becoming a pathbreaking neurosurgeon. According to Carson, American opportunity and hard work gave him the chance to rise, and he is passionate about extending those values to Americans through deregulation, education reform, and other measures.
Opportunities: Carson’s status as a talented political outsider looking to serve in the White House has given him great appeal in Tea Party circles. His campaign rests on the idea that the nation’s problems can be solved by the forceful application of brainpower, and his proposed solutions place him at the more conservative end of the field. He has a unique, conversational speaking style that separates him from more traditional candidates and reaches voters dissatisfied with typical Washington
Challenges: Carson’s overall lack of political experience and less-than-moderate positions raise questions about his electability. He has studied up significantly on foreign policy, but several gaffes on such issues have plagued him. He competes for supporters with the flashier Donald Trump and the more experienced Ted Cruz, a tasks made difficult by low name recognition.
Did you know? Carson, the first surgeon to successfully separate siamese twins conjoined at the head, is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.