Republican presidential candidate, Christian and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on Friday officially ended his presidential campaign while revealing his next move will be to chair My Faith Votes, a national non-partisan group focused on getting out the Christian vote in November. "We have to save our nation," he said.
The goal of My Faith Votes is to help Christian voters understand and recognize how important their votes are. Carson cited an example from 2012 when he said 25 million Evangelicals did not vote. He said Christians need to get registered to vote.
"A lot of people in the faith community say, 'God's got it under control, so I just don't need to really do anything,'" said Carson.
"Well, one of the ways God controls it is through us."
"Nothing is more important to me than my personal faith, and it is my faith that motivated me to be involved in the political process to begin with," Carson said in a statement. "I believe Christians in this country can easily determine the next president of the United States and all other national and local leaders, should they simply show up at the polls."
The tax-exempt nonprofit educational group reportedly will execute a national media campaign that will gather steam into the November presidential election. Sealy Yates is the founder and president.
"Even though I might be leaving the campaign trail, you know there's a lot of people who love me. They just won't vote for me," Carson told the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in National Harbor, Maryland. "But it's OK. It's not a problem. I will still continue to be heavily involved in trying to save our nation."
When Carson said he would be "leaving the campaign trail," the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Later in the speech, Carson explained, "I did the math. I looked at the delegate counts ... and I realized it simply wasn't going to happen. And if that's the case, then I simply didn't want to interfere with the process."
Carson did not endorse another Republican candidate, CNN reports. He did, however, warn the remaining presidential candidates that a prolonged, vitriolic primary fight risks handing Democrats the White House in November.
"We cannot afford to give the Democrats all of this ammunition," Carson said. "I wish that people would remember what happened last time and how the Republicans were destroying each other."
He used the speech mostly to reiterate his campaign themes, but did also thank his campaign volunteers, especially Braden Joplin, an Iowa staffer who died in a car crash before the state's caucuses.
"It's an experience that I will never forget," Carson said.