Potential presidential candidate to be in Tyler Friday for book signing

Published on Wednesday, 4 June 2014 22:47 - Written by ADAM RUSSELL arussell@tylerpaper.com

A possible presidential candidate will visit Tyler on Friday as part as a national book tour.

Retired neurosurgeon and author Benjamin Carson will be at Sam’s Club, 2025 S.S.W Loop 323 at noon Friday. Carson will meet with fans and sign his newest book, “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”

Carson rose to political prominence following his speech at a 2013 National Prayer Breakfast event. He has been critical of the nation’s direction regarding education, healthcare and debt. He said political correctness and a lack of meaningful policy discussions is the biggest danger to democracy.

Last Tuesday, Carson finished with 29 percent, 1 percentage point behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a “presidential” straw poll. Carson has steadily climbed the depth chart for GOP hopefuls in 2016 but remains mum about his political intentions.

But the book tour is building speculation and support among conservatives.

RunBenRun, a political action committee formed to “draft” Carson into campaigning for president, has raised more than $4 million and increase the doctor’s profile nationally.

Bobbye Rucker, a RunBenRun volunteer, said Carson has said he would run “if America wants him to” and that the group is building support by introducing people to his message. She said the group is “piggybacking” on the tour schedule to capitalize on publicizing the possible candidate.

Ms. Rucker, an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Tyler and Tyler Junior College, has been following Carson since the prayer breakfast.

“I’ve been so fascinated with what he has to say,” she said. “We have more similarities than we do differences. As a brain surgeon, he approaches problem solving in a logical manner and doesn’t just point fingers.”

Carson’s speeches focus on his own upbringing, his rise from poverty and on the belief that all Americans have more similarities than differences and that policy solutions are attainable because the nation is filled with problem-solvers.

“One Nation” tackles topics including education, health care, family values, race relations, taxes, charity, and the role of faith in public life. Copies are $25.95.

Ms. Rucker said supporters would gather with signs and banners to express their hope Carson would run for president on city owned property adjacent to the Sam’s Club parking lot.