Ben Carson Courts House Conservatives

© Provided by The Hill
© Provided by The Hill

GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson huddled with nearly 20 House Republicans Wednesday morning, an opportunity to share his up-by-the-bootstraps personal story with some potential conservative allies. 

Speaking at the weekly Conservative Opportunity Society breakfast, Carson told of how a black kid who grew up in Detroit rose to become a renowned neurosurgeon. The conservative favorite recounted how his peers called him “dummy” in junior high school, and how he would escape to local museums for hours to study art.

Carson didn’t attack any of his presidential rivals during the breakfast, even controversial frontrunner Donald Trump.

“His message was how anyone can accomplish anything,” said one of the attendees, Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), who isn’t endorsing in the GOP primary. “I was very favorably impressed with him. He’s a very impressive individual.”

Carson was invited to speak at the Capitol Hill Club by conservative Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who chairs the Conservative Opportunity Society, founded more than 30 years ago by Newt Gingrich.

While several attendees had never met Carson before, one of them has deep ties to the retired doctor. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), an anesthesiologist, previously worked with Carson at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Carson is a second-tier GOP candidate but is expected to place high enough in national polling to make the cut for next week’s Fox News presidential debate.

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Source: The Hill | Scott Wong

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