Dr. Ben Carson hints at White House run, exciting conservatives

Dr. Ben Carson -- who during his speech at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast criticized some of President Obama’s economic policies -- hinted Saturday that he might be interested in a 2016 presidential run.

Speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, Carson resumed his sharp critique of Washington and the rest of the United States, including his vision on how to fix the country’s problems.

“Let's say you magically put me in the White House,” Carson, a Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, said to a loud applause.

The remark was a bit unexpected, considering Carson has said his prayer breakfast speech -- critical of higher taxes and Obama’s new health-care law -- was to “serve God” and was not political.

However, Carson has since become so popular among conservatives that his name is on the ballot for CPAC’s straw poll for a 2016 presidential candidate.

The 62-year-old Carson, whose prayer breakfast remarks were within earshot of Obama, said Saturday he is retiring from surgery within roughly the next three to four months. He said his immediate focus will be on “educating the next generation," then “once we get that taken care of who knows.”

Carson, raised in poverty, returned to his concerns including the decline of education in America, Washington overspending and the importance of God in American life.

“We continue to spend ourselves into oblivion,” said Carson, adding the country’s younger generations have become “uniformed” and “ignorant.”

Carson also seemed to imply Obama’s agenda is destroying the country.

He said if somebody was in the White House and “wanted to destroy this nation,” then “that person might create division among the people … undermine the financial stability of the country … weaken the military ... .Coincidentally, those are the very things that are happening right now.”