New conservative darling, neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, will be a featured speaker at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next month, according to the American Conservative Union (ACU).
The Conference, which represents the largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists in America, is scheduled for March 14 to March 16, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
"Dr. Ben Carson represents the optimism and hope of the future of the conservative movement, while at the same time he articulates the deep fiscal and social challenges that our Nation faces," said Al Cardenas, chairman of the ACU, in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming Dr. Carson to the CPAC stage in March."
The world renowned doctor has been on America's political radar since his now famous politically incorrect speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7. In the presence of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Carson declared that political correctness was having a negative impact on American society by preventing people from engaging in open and honest dialogue on important issues affecting the country.
"And one last thing about political correctness, which I think is a horrible thing by the way," Carson had told the audience at the Prayer Breakfast. "I'm very, very compassionate and I am not ever out to offend anyone but pc (political correctness) is dangerous. Because you see this country, one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression, and it muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them and at the same time, keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of this society is being changed."
Carson went on in his speech to criticize government policy in areas such as taxation, arguing for a flat tax; debt management, pointing out that the national debt needs to be contained; education, urging the promotion of "intellectual superstars," and healthcare, where he championed health savings accounts for every American instead of Obamacare.
While many conservatives have been calling for Carson to run for president in 2016, the doctor who will retire from his position as head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in June has continually dismissed having any current interest in the notion. He has not explicitly ruled the notion out of his future, however, telling national media that he would do it if God wanted him to.
The CPAC event will also feature a star-studded list of blockbuster speeches from conservative politicians and activists such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. There will also be policy discussions highlighting the shared principles of smaller government, strong national defense and traditional American values.
In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, lead strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, Stuart Stevens, suggested that the Republican Party, which gets about half of its support from America's conservative Christian base, should rethink some of its policy positions on issues such as gay marriage and contraceptives to appeal to younger voters.