*Republican Ben Carson is officially in the 2016 presidential race.
“I’m willing to be part of the equation and therefore, I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States of America,” the retired pediatric neurosurgeon told Ohio’s WKRC. He also broke the news to WPEC in Florida and is expected to speak about his presidential run at an event in Detroit on Monday.
Carson enters a crowded Republican field that includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who also announced her presidential bid this morning.
Carson’s tea party roots often draw sharp criticism from Democrats. He made headlines last year for calling Obamacare the worst thing to happen to the country “since slavery.” He refused to walk back those comments, as well as ones that compared the U.S. to Nazi Germany. Carson also caused an uproar after he compared gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia.
Most recently, Carson apologized for plagiarizing parts of his book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, after a BuzzFeed report noted that several passages were lifted from other sources, including Socialismsucks.net.
Carson was born and raised in Detroit. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in psychology and later received his medical degree from the University of Michigan. He went on to teach pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
According to HuffPost Pollster, Carson falls behind Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a GOP primary match-up. Paul, Rubio and Cruz have already announced their candidacies for 2016.