Republican presidential race: Ben Carson signals his intention to drop out of running for GOP nomination

The retired neurosurgeon says he can see no 'political path forward'

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The Independent US

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who last year rose and fell precipitously in polls of Republican voters, has signalled his intention to drop out of the presidential race after yet another dismal showing in the 11 Super Tuesday states.

Dr Carson issued a statement to his supporters on Wednesday afternoon, saying he could not see a “political path forward” to the GOP nomination, adding that he would not attend the next Republican debate in Detroit on Thursday. “However,” he went on, “this grassroots movement on behalf of ‘We the People’ will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations.”

Popular among Christian conservatives, the 64-year-old political outsider briefly topped the polls in late 2015, but by the time the first primaries were decided he had become an also-ran. Ahead of this week’s Super Tuesday contest, he complained about the “lack of civility” in the Republican race, which he described as an “embarrassment on the world stage”.

Dr Carson is yet to formally suspend his campaign, but promised to reveal his plans in a speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday. He was reportedly offered several incentives to exit the presidential race, including the chance to run for a US Senate seat in his home state of Florida, which his primary rival Marco Rubio is set to vacate in January.

However, his campaign spokesman Armstrong Williams told Politico that Dr Carson had declined the offer. “He has no interest in doing that.... That’s politics, and he’s not a politician,” Mr Williams said.