Fact Check

Is Dr. Ben Carson Running for President in 2016?

Is Dr. Ben Carson running for president in 2016?

Published Nov 7, 2014


Claim:   Dr. Ben Carson announced that he plans to run for president in 2016.


TRUE: Dr. Ben Carson indicated he's considering a bid for the Republican nomination in 2016, and major news sources inaccurately reported that Carson confirmed his intent to run.
FALSE: Dr. Ben Carson announced he is running for President in 2016.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2014]

Is Dr. Ben Carson running for president?


Origins:   After the November 2014 mid-term elections, speculation over who

might appear on 2016 presidential tickets immediately kicked into overdrive. Before the results of the 2014 polls were fully registered, pundits were already discussing what the next campaign season could bring and who might take Barack Obama's place in the Oval Office after the 2016 election.

Within days, it seemed the increasingly popular Dr. Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon and favored Tea Party candidate, was going to be one of the first to step up to the plate. The notion of Carson's candidacy got an extra push when ABC News published an article stating Carson's candidacy had been confirmed:

ABC News reported Thursday that Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, is planning to air a 40-minute commercial this weekend to introduce himself to the American people. The video, called "A Breath of Fresh Air: A New Prescription for America" will air in 22 states and Washington, DC., according to ABC News. A Carson aide confirmed to ABC News that Carson is running for president.

He is the first Republican to announce for the 2016 presidential race.

That news outlet later published a correction, however, stating Carson had made no "formal announcement" to that effect:

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ben Carson made an opening bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Carson has not made a formal announcement for president, but has said he is "starting to think about it." ABC News regrets the error.

Given the network's reach and authority, the claim of Dr. Ben Carson's alleged 2016 presidential run announcement spread far and fast; but it isn't yet clear whether Dr. Carson has decided upon a 2016 run and simply hasn't announced it yet, or whether the network merely got ahead of itself in stating that the popular conservative planned to get into the race early. That Carson produced and plans to air a commercial in several states is a strong indicator he's seriously considering a bid for the White House and just hasn't definitively said so yet.

Last updated:   7 November 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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