Dr. Ben Carson, a well-respected neurosurgeon and best-selling author, made a name for himself in the political arena several months ago by delivering a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast that delighted conservatives and criticized President Barack Obama.
After Carson’s February speech, a Wall Street Journal editorial proclaimed “Ben Carson for President,” and The Atlantic described him as “the New American Folk Hero.”
Like Obama, Carson, 61, is black, was raised by a single mother, worked hard in school and found professional success early in life.
On Thursday, Carson brought his message calling for smaller government and a “flat, fair tax” to more than 2,500 activists at an event hosted by Americans for Prosperity Foundation-Wisconsin at the Waukesha County Fairgrounds Expo Center.
Other well-known conservatives in attendance included U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and national Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips.
According to the MacIver Institute’s account of the speech, Carson drew a comparison between government and a morbidly obese individual who continues to take in far more calories than are necessary.
He said if such people would reduce their caloric intake, they could get fit and then “start to run.”
“There is 10 percent of fat in everything.” Carson said. “If we cut 10 percent of fat out of every governmental department, we would still survive.”
Like he did at the National Prayer Breakfast, Carson advocated for what he describes as a flat tax system.
“You make 10 billion dollars, you pay $1 billion. You make $10 you pay $1. What could be more fair than that?” Carson told the Waukesha crowd Thursday night.
Carson went on to say the top 1 percent of earners pay one-third of the taxes, according to MacIver.
“I don’t think they pay their fair share, I think they pay more than their fair share,” Carson said.
MacIver also posted a short video of the Thursday night event.
Several of those in attendance, including Luke Hilgemann, state director of Wisconsin Americans for Prosperity, enthusiastically tweeted about Carson’s appearance.
Some of Hilgemann’s tweets from Thursday included:
“Dr. Carson was truly spectacular! @AFPWI blew it out of the park tonight. So proud of my team.”
“Dr. Carson speaks to 3,000+ WI patriots @AFPWI economic freedom town hall! Truly inspiring.”
“Finally. Welcoming this incredible man to Wisconsin tonight along with 3,000 of my fellow patriots.”
Carson is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He gained international recognition in the late 1980s after separating conjoined twins.
A book he wrote on his life up until that point was turned in a movie with the same name, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.” Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. starred as Carson.
Following the speech in February that brought him political notoriety, Carson told Christian Politics in an interview that his comments were meant “to please God.”
Carson, who is retiring from performing surgery in June, also referred to God when asked by ABCNews if he would ever consider a presidential bid.
“That’s not my intention, but I always say, ‘I’ll leave that up to God,’” he said.