Ben Carson Sorta Dropping Out. It's Confusing

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the debate sponsored by CNN for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential candidates in Houston, Texas, February 25, 2016.
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the debate sponsored by CNN for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential candidates in Houston, Texas, February 25, 2016. | (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said Wednesday that he sees no "path forward" for his presidential campaign and announced that he will not be attending Thursday night's presidential debate in his hometown of Detroit.

The 64-year-old retired pediatric neurosurgeon released a statement to his supporters acknowledging the fact that it is all but impossible for him to win the Republican presidential nomination now that he has failed to win a single primary or caucus and has won only a handful of delegates through Super Tuesday.

In his statement, however, Carson stopped short of officially suspending his presidential bid.

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"I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening's Super Tuesday primary results," Carson's statement reads. "However, this grassroots movement on behalf of 'We the People' will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations."

The statement explained that Carson will give a speech on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside of Washington, D.C. to address his political future, which could possibly be where Carson formally announces the suspension of his presidential campaign.

Carson's statement comes after GOP operatives told CNN earlier in the day that they were going to call on Carson to end his presidential campaign and encourage him to run for Florida's open Senate seat, which is currently being held by fellow Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.

Also on Wednesday morning, Carson's longtime friend and business manager Armstrong Williams told Politico that "there is no pathway" for Carson to win the GOP nomination. Williams added that there was no timetable for Carson to announce the end of his campaign.

On Monday, Carson's wife, Candy, told students at Lee University in Tennessee that her husband will only suspend his presidential campaign if God tells him to do so. She added that God told her husband to run for president in order to bring a voice on issues like national security and the federal government's enormous $19 trillion debt.

Along with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, Carson was seen as a popular anti-establishment candidate among many conservatives. The height of Carson's campaign came last fall when he rose to second place in a number of GOP nomination polls and even claimed the top-spot in other polls for a short period of time.

"I appreciate the support, financial and otherwise, from all corners of America," Carson's Wednesday statement continued. "Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interests of the American people."

Carson's campaign success began to falter at the end of 2015 when questions arose about his knowledge on foreign policy. For example, Carson stumbled in December by pronouncing the Palestinian militant group Hamas like the edible snack spread "hummus."

Carson's drop in the polls led to campaign infighting. Ultimately, over 20 staff members quit from Carson's campaign on Dec. 31.

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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