As previously announced, Ben Carson has officially ended his presidential campaign. However, there is a surprise twist: he is chairing a group that is focused on encouraging Christians to vote in the November general elections.
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"Even though I might be leaving the campaign trail, you know there's a lot of people who love me. They just won't vote for me," Carson told the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in National Harbor, Maryland. "But it's OK. It's not a problem. I will still continue to be heavily involved in trying to save our nation."
The crowd acted like they didn't know what was going on, gasping when he announced that he was leaving and then giving him a standing ovation.
Carson explained his reason for leaving the campaign trail, "I did the math. I looked at the delegate counts ... and I realized it simply wasn't going to happen. And if that's the case, then I simply didn't want to interfere with the process."
In another surprise twist, Carson didn't endorse another candidate, but he did warn about a long, ugly race that he predicted will continue to the general election, and cause the Democrats to continue their control of the White House.
"We cannot afford to give the Democrats all of this ammunition," Carson said. "I wish that people would remember what happened last time and how the Republicans were destroying each other."
He thanked his entire team, and said that he hopes to continue his good work.
"It's an experience that I will never forget," Carson said.
Carson also said that he will be the new national chairman of My Faith Votes.
"Nothing is more important to me than my personal faith, and it is my faith that motivated me to be involved in the political process to begin with," Carson said in a statement. "I believe Christians in this country can easily determine the next president of the United States and all other national and local leaders, should they simply show up at the polls."
The nonprofit educational group says that it will put out a national media campaign to increase turnout at the election, according to CNN.
"In the last four presidential elections, an average of less than five million votes separated the major candidates." My Faith Votes President Sealy Yates, said in a statement. "Yet, more than 25 million Christians didn't bother to even show up at the polls in 2012."
Carson mirrored that statement, saying that he hopes all Christians will join him in "exercising our civic duty and voting."
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There were previous reports that the GOP was trying to pull Carson into the Senate by way of the Florida Senate seat that will be vacated by Marco Rubio, but Carson didn't comment on that and it doesn't look likely.