Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Politics

Ben Carson officially drops out of the presidential race (w/video)

Ben Carson officially dropped out of the presidential race Friday.

"Now that I'm leaving the campaign trail," he said in the middle of a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The audience shouted, "No! No!" and gave him a standing ovation.

Carson said this week that he saw no "path forward" for his presidential campaign and he did not participate in Thursday night's Republican debate, but he had not formally dropped out. He said Friday that he realized he didn't have the support or votes to win the contest.

"I did the math," Carson said of his decision to drop out. "I looked at the delegate counts, I looked at the states, I looked at the requirements and I realized it simply wasn't going to happen, and if that's the case, I didn't want to interfere with the process."

Carson joked that there are a "lot of people who love me, they just won't vote for me," he said to laughs. "But it's okay, it's not a problem."

But the news was almost old by the time Carson spoke. Around the convention hall, conservative activists expressed affection for Carson, but wondered if he ever really should have run for president.

"I'm sorry to see it," said Bonnie Heuring, 53, who had traveled to CPAC from Springville, Ind. "I like Dr. Carson. He's a very principled man. But I don't think he realized the cesspool he was getting into."

Heuring intended to support Donald Trump for president. Martin Mawyer, 62, had voted for Ted Cruz in his Lynchburg, Va., precinct. He admired Carson for being "outside of politics" but wondered why he had worked so hard to undermine Cruz.

"I don't think he ever showed enough enthusiasm to bring voters into his campaign," Mawyer said. "The Republican Party has had a bad experience with deadpan candidates. McCain and Romney were cardboard figures, We want somebody animated. Carson stayed in a lot longer than he should have."

Barry Bennett, the avuncular Republican strategist who had served as Carson's campaign manager before a Jan. 1 staff culling, said the campaign had served a purpose. Carson, because of the list he built, would have the ability to be a major conservative voice going forward.

"This isn't the end," said Bennett, now an adviser to Trump's campaign.

And it is not: Carson said he will be involved in efforts to get evangelical Christians to vote.

"I will still continue to be heavily involved in trying to save our nation. We have to save it," he said.

Carson said he has heard "troubling things," like people won't vote at all if they don't vote for him.

"If you won't vote, then you're voting for the other side. We can't afford that," Carson said.

Comments

Pasco Political Notebook for Aug. 17

Republican Club hosts candidate forum at meetingThe West Pasco Republican Club will host an "Election Extravaganza" candidate forum at its meeting Aug. 21 at Heritage Springs Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. A social time will...
Published: 08/13/18
Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting Pasco County begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 25, with 11 locations across the county for voters.Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 20-24, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug...
Published: 08/13/18
Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

LARGO — There will be no suspense in the city when elections arrive Nov. 6. In fact, there will be no election at all, because all four city commissioners whose seats were up were re-elected by default when no one came forward by the end of the candi...
Published: 08/13/18
Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

The political kerfuffle around Melissa Howard began when a news site reported that the Florida state House hopeful is not a college graduate, as she claims to be. To prove the story wrong, Howard, R, reportedly flew to her proclaimed alma mater, Ohio...
Published: 08/12/18
Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

The war is over, except no one in Tallahassee has bothered to read the news.And so Florida continues its daft fight against medical marijuana. All of which means patients are being left behind, voters are getting ignored, and lawyers are buying fanci...
Published: 08/11/18
Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

TAMPA — Hillsborough County plans to file a lawsuit next week against companies that manufacture opioid drugs, alleging that aggressive marketing of painkillers worsened the opioid crisis.The county joins a number of other local governments nationwid...
Published: 08/10/18
Ex-aide Omarosa says she refused hush money, pens White House memoir calling Trump racist

Ex-aide Omarosa says she refused hush money, pens White House memoir calling Trump racist

WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault Newman was offered a $15,000-a-month contract from President Donald Trump’s campaign to stay silent after being fired from her job as a White House aide by Chief of Staff John Kelly last December, according to a forthco...
Published: 08/10/18
Carlton: Sorry, Gov. Scott, but college students can early vote after all. Hey, USF, talking to you here...

Carlton: Sorry, Gov. Scott, but college students can early vote after all. Hey, USF, talking to you here...

Good news, at least for those of us who keep believing in that old-fashioned notion that voting should be open and accessible to everyone who’s qualified.Even if they’re, say, young voters. And even if certain politicians do not like the direction in...
Published: 08/10/18
Sheriff finds himself at center of political stand your ground storm

Sheriff finds himself at center of political stand your ground storm

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has never been one to shy away from tough decisions.He’s also not known to back off from explaining them publicly.So his 30-minute and 55-minute news conferences to talk about why he didn’t arrest Michael Drejka ...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18
Retired attorney and businesswoman challenge two-term Hernando commissioner

Retired attorney and businesswoman challenge two-term Hernando commissioner

BROOKSVILLE — As the District 2 Hernando County commissioner, Wayne Dukes hopes his public service over the past eight years has earned him another term on the board. But two other Republicans on the ballot for the Aug. 28 primary election would like...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18