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Neurosurgeon Ben Carson announces 2016 presidential campaign

By Kate Stanton and Andrew V. Pestano
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson announces 2016 presidential campaign
Dr. Ben Carson will seek the Republican Party's nomination for president. File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

DETROIT, May 4 (UPI) -- Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, will run for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

"I'm Ben Carson, and I'm a candidate for president of the United States," he said in his announcement speech in Detroit, Mich., where he was born and raised by a single mother.

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"I'm probably never going to be politically correct because I'm not a politician," he said. "I don't want to be a politician. Because politicians do what is politically expedient -- I want to do what's right."

Carson's political campaign plans to raise $65 million by the time of the Florida GOP primary next March and another $65 million after.

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"I have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them," he said in his speech. "I have a strong desire to get rid of programs that create dependency in able-bodied people."

Carson, 63, is the fourth Republican to announce a 2016 presidential bid, following Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. He has never held political office but is renowned for his work as the former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

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In 1987, he made international headlines for performing the first-ever successful operation on conjoined twins. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.

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Carson, who now lives in Florida, became a favorite of conservatives after the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, when he delivered a sharp critique of the Affordable Care Act.

"You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson said at a Values Voter Summit that year.

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