Ben Carson, the world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who criticized President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in February, is one of the prominent black conservatives the former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is hosting in Washington D.C. on Monday.
"In addition to getting acquainted and looking for ways to support each other through their various initiatives, Cain plans to discuss how to collectively expose the damaging effects of the current administration on the black community, the effects of which are worse than the national negative impact of bad policy," Kathy Hoekstra, a spokeswoman for Cain, tells The Daily Caller.
Monday's gathering at the Willard Hotel will be attended by about 10 black conservatives, including Ken Blackwell, the former Cincinnati mayor and Ohio secretary of state and Alveda King, the pro-life activist and niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for president after several recent high-profile public appearances. He attacked Obama's policies on healthcare and taxes in his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Both Cain and Carson are vocal opponents of same-sex marriage.
On his radio show earlier this month, Cain – the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza – attacked MSNBC "PoliticsNation" host Al Sharpton for saying that gay marriage is a "right of the people." "It is not the same thing as racial [discrimination], but it's the same thing when you have others decide the prerogative of people's lives – and you cannot fight for one's rights without fighting for everyone's rights," Sharpton said.
"Not making gay marriage legal across the country is not deciding people's prerogatives," Cain said. "You see, the laws already protect everybody. Secondly, any two people can agree contractually to anything. You can agree to sharing property. You can agree to transferring property."
Carson last week withdrew as commencement speaker at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine after students protested his statements on same-sex marriage.
During an interview with Fox News, Carson said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are – they don't get to change the definition." Carson subsequently apologized for his statement.
"Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year," Carson wrote in an e-mail to the dean of the Hopkins medical school, according to the Baltimore Sun. "My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me."