Illustration: Mark Marturello/The Des Moines Register

PARTY: Republican

BORN: September 18, 1951 in Detroit, Michigan

Ben Carson

What he’s got: Passionate following from his Fox News hits, writing, and public appearances; a compelling stump speech and biography; more freedom than other Republicans to speak about race and political correctness; a demeanor that soothes and impresses; an en vogue non-politician resume.

What he lacks: Executive, legislative, and/or political experience; national-security credentials; consistent ability to avoid gaffes, stick to a script, and stay on message; a clear and plausible early-state strategy.

Read Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's Scouting Report

Photo Gallery

Top Priorities

Ben’s Resumé

Highs

Watch This

Ben Carson Can’t Explain Paul Rand’s Anti-Vax Stance

Ben Carson speaks with Bloomberg Politics about vaccinations, and how the government should (or shouldn’t) be involved.

Lows

Don't Miss

Ben Carson: The Outsider Steps Into the Race

May 4, 2015 12:27 PM ET

Heilemann: Ben Carson’s Life Story Is a Great Calling Card

May 4, 2015 6:15 PM ET

Ben Carson Ditches Campaign Logo for a Better One

June 29, 2015 4:35 PM ET

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Carson Once Said...

Did you know...

The TV movie Gifted Hands, starring Cuba Gooding Jr., is based on Carson's autobiography by the same name.

Family

When he’s not running for office, Ben is...

  • Writing a best-selling book (his latest outsold Hillary’s).
  • Staring at that organ he bought and still doesn’t know how to play?
  • Vacationing at Villa Lilly on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
  • Shaking his head at the Conservative Political Action Committee profile of him that features a picture of Senator Tim Scott?

Ben Speaks