Retired neurosurgeon and rising conservative superstar Dr. Ben Carson won the presidential straw poll at a Polk County Republican Party dinner in Des Moines, Iowa Sunday night by a landslide. He is getting a team together should he decide to battle for the White House in 2016.
A report by The Des Moines Register said the event was dominated by Carson's supporters who travelled from areas like Kansas City and Minneapolis. Carson won 62 percent of the 261 votes in the poll while his closest rival, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, got just seven percent of the votes. Texas Gov. Rick Perry got four percent while the remaining votes were scattered among several other potential 2016 candidates.
Appearing on the O'Reilly Factor Tuesday, Carson told host Bill O'Reilly that he is already raising money and putting a team together should he decide to run for president in 2016 after midterm elections in November.
"We have started the USA First PAC to do exactly that but also to raise funds to help other candidates because I think if we don't have a significant impact in November of this year, we're gonna have lost the race so we really need to have a big impact now," said Carson.
When asked by O'Reilly how he plans to overcome his political inexperience Carson said: "I can tell you in terms of political experience, spending almost four decades in academic institutions, you get plenty of that. But there's no question that I haven't spent a lot of time in government, it doesn't mean that you can have people around you who have spent that time."
"I think the thing that is actually more important is wisdom and understanding and knowing how to use facts. You know when I conducted some very complex operations including things that hadn't been done before, it required pulling people together some of whom knew a lot of things that I didn't know about," he added.
When challenged with questions on how he planned to address his international political inexperience and dealing with issues like Russian president, Vladimir Putin, China and the rising influence of ISIS Carson agreed that these issues were "complicated". He charged, nonetheless, that ISIS must be dealt with.
"When you're dealing with an organization like ISIS whose stated goal is to destroy you, you can't play with them, you can't just drive them back to their little hole and let them regroup and come back out. You have to have a philosophy that you're going to get rid of them and you have to use the means that are necessary in order to do that. You can't play games," said Carson.