BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland’s own Dr. Ben Carson knows just how dangerous surgeries can be. He’s the rock star of brain surgery; the first to successfully separate twins joined at the head 27 years ago. In a rare interview, the Johns Hopkins doctor who’s saved thousands says he’s getting ready to save the country.
Denise Koch asks him what everyone wants to know: will he run?
Dr. Ben Carson makes miracles look easy. He was the first to successfully separate twins joined at the head and WJZ witnessed him save a girl’s life by removing half her brain at Johns Hopkins Hospital. It seems there is nothing his gifted hands can’t do—but about a year ago, while still in his prime, the world-renowned Hopkins neurosurgeon who’s worked and lived here in Maryland for decades retired.
“Somebody told me neurosurgeons die early and I didn’t believe it so I wrote down the name of the last 10 neurosurgeons I know who died, calculated the average age of death and it was 61. So I said, `If I’m still alive when I turn 61, I think I’m going to retire,'” he said.
But instead of relaxing in Florida, he is now operating in a new arena: politics. It all started unexpectedly in 2013, the day Dr. Carson spoke at the president’s prayer breakfast.
“We’ve reached a point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say because somebody might be offended,” Carson said in his speech at the breakfast.
“After that, there was just so much clamoring and I thought, `This will die down; don’t worry about that,'” Carson said. “But it never did.”
Dr. Carson, who just might run for president in 2016, is anything but politically correct.
“Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” he said in 2013.
“There are probably better ways to express some things and I am more careful,” he says now.
Interestingly enough, Carson used to be a Democrat.
“I was a rabid, left-wing Democrat. I’m running as a Republican because you have to run as something,” he said.
His years in medicine have changed him.
“I was seeing all these people coming into the clinic and they were all people who were on government assistance and they were perfectly able-bodied people,” he said.
Now the doctor who rose from the projects to graduate from Yale is crisscrossing the country to supporters pushing him to run for president, saying, “Run Ben Run.”
He has a message for those concerned about whether a doctor with no political experience should run for president:
“What they should do is listen to my solutions. Then they should listen to the solutions of everybody else and then they should select the one that makes sense to them,” he said.
Dr. Carson says he will know by May whether he plans to run for president. You can bet we will keep you posted.