Ben Carson isn’t done wandering around the country taking people’s money

Ben Carson isn’t going to be president. Ben Carson isn’t going to win the Republican nomination. Ben Carson isn’t going to win any of the Republican primaries.

Ben Carson isn’t going to quit.

In an op-ed published on Fox News today, Carson wrote that while many people have told him to end his bid for president, and regardless as to what the “polls” say, he’s going to soldier on. As he wrote:

Ben Carson, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Ben Carson, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Unfortunately, these pundits have gotten too lost in the gladiatorial spectacle to see what truly matters: the will of “We the People” of America.

With every call to drop out, pundits and political operatives salivate over polling percentages — as though the people they represent were commodities to be bought and bartered in the backrooms of D.C.’s exclusive political clubs. This mentality is driving voters away from the political system they have so long supported.

It is a fundamentally undemocratic response to insinuate that people should be stripped of their choice “for the good of the party.” That’s why I’ve vowed to continue our campaign as long as we have revenue and support, until the people have decided.

That last part I quoted is actually the closest Carson comes to making a good point. Campaigns usually don’t end when they run out of voters; they usually end when they run out of money. Apparently, Carson’s campaign still has some.

But in the context of Ben Carson and his political organization, concerns over revenue mean something slightly different. That’s because, as multiple outlets have noted, Carson’s campaign looks less like an operation aimed at winning the Republican nomination and more like a direct mail fundraising scam. As Gawker reported earlier this year, in the last three months of 2015 Carson’s campaign “paid over $9 million to companies owned by its staffers.”

It was the continuation of a pattern. Since its inception, his campaign has boasted a notoriously high burn rate, with most of the money it raised being funneled straight back into fundraising costs — most of which were paid to consulting firms controlled by people who, guess what, served as advisors to Carson’s campaign. Carson himself took a few weeks off from campaigning last year — when he was at his highest in the polls — in order to promote his latest book. Not coincidentally, at least two of the consulting firms listed on Carson’s FEC disclosure forms specialize in book promotion.

Carson’s also done little by way of earning media coverage in recent months, suggesting that he isn’t exactly gunning hard to win the votes of people who aren’t already sending him money. In fact, the only times we hear from him anymore are during debates, where he serves as comic relief more than anything else.

At this point, it’s hard to tell whether Carson’s in on the act, or if he’s being taken for a ride by the consultants invested in his campaign. Either way, it looks like Carson is planning on wandering around the United States and taking people’s money for a while longer.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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17 Responses to “Ben Carson isn’t done wandering around the country taking people’s money”

  1. Vinder says:

    its essential to do tour. why people do objection on that kind of tour

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  2. Shivani Sharma says:

    i like the way he wondring.. check here the next destination……

  3. Demosthenes says:

    Dr. Carson’s book tour and grifting tour d’force ensures that hilarity remains on the campaign trail.

  4. Butch1 says:

    He should tell “bed-time” stories. They would surely put the kids to sleep.

  5. Butch1 says:

    Don’t forget, he’s also on a book tour. ;-)

  6. 2karmanot says:

    Dr. Stabby isn’t operating with a full tool kit.

  7. gratuitous says:

    The will of “We the People,” Dr. Carson? It would appear that you command a smaller and smaller percentage of that. If you’re getting pressure and ridicule, it’s well-deserved. In fact, it would be extremely rude not to ridicule you and your campaign, since you’ve so cordially invited it.

  8. nicho says:

    Americans have had an enduring love affair with charlatans from the beginning of the country. And nothing enthralls them quite as much as a religious charlatan.

  9. SkippyFlipjack says:

    I like that Carson is acknowledging that GOP operatives are pressuring him to drop out.

  10. Baal says:

    One could say that he bears the same relationship to a presidential campaign that Ronald McDonald does to a fast food franchise.

  11. Baal says:

    It’s all good. The people who’s money he is taking are imbeciles. Better for the money to circulate and I suspect Dr. Carson is going to spend it on hookers and blow, and from there to the world at large.

  12. MerryMarjie says:

    Exactly, BeccaM. This man is being marketed like so much meat, and I’m afraid it’s the poor, perhaps religious people, who are giving their hard-earned money. His whole group of handlers are in on the scheme, whether Dr. Carson himself is or not, and they’re just rolling around in the “take.”

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    Carson ran to sell his books.

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  15. Ty Morgan says:

    Well if they’re dumb enough to give it to him….

  16. BeccaM says:

    His campaign never was anything but a long-con grift scam, with the side benefit for him of being a source of much ego-fluffing. Carson himself isn’t even really a candidate. He’s a figurehead, a brand being peddled to gullible marks who seem to want a candidate almost exactly like either Trump or Cruz, but not as blatantly foul or skeezy-and-corrupt as them. A guy for example who’ll say he’s open to the idea of torturing prisoners, but express it in a calm, soothing, and nigh somnolent voice.

    There’s also not much doubt Carson has no clue how to run a campaign at all. So the real question is besides him, who else is getting rich off his pointless campaign?

  17. Strong is the grift in this one! [/Yoda]

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