“Will I run for president? I’ll have to check with God.”

If a respected African-American surgeon takes the opportunity of the National Prayer Breakfast to publicly lecture the African-American President of the United States about his economic and healthcare policy and the mainstream media pays almost no attention, did it really happen?

If you’re Dr. Benjamin Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon who applauded by the conservative press for speaking truth to power (or at least a truth conservatives can get behind) it did happen and the response was so enthusiastic Carson is being mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.   Carson isn’t squashing the idea even while he maintains his criticism of Obama.

“There are a number of policies that I don’t believe lead to the growth of our nation and don’t lead to the elevation of our nation,” Carson explained on This Week, “I don’t want to sit here and say all of his policies are bad.”

When asked if he might want to run for political office and implement his own policies, the 61-year-old surgeon didn’t rule it out.  “That’s not my intention,” he said. “But I always say, ‘I’ll leave that up to God.’”

Carson is world renowned for his work with children, becoming in 1987 the first surgeon to successfully separate Siamese twins conjoined at the back of the head. In 2000, President Bush awarded Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.   Carson works at Johns Hopkins University, where he is director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, co-director of the Craniofacial Center and a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics.

He is also known for his own life story — he was raised by a single mother in Detroit and struggled for a time in school but wound up at Yale University — and for his philanthropy: The Carson Scholars Fund recognizes exceptional young people.

"Don't get too comfortable behind that presidential seal, doc."
“Don’t get too comfortable behind that presidential seal, doc.”

With the president sitting with a stoic expression on his face, Carson rambled through a 25 minute speech critical of Obamacare, skeptical of the nation’s economy, and disdainful of “political correctness.”

“It’s not my intention to offend anyone. But it’s hard not to. The PC police are out in force everywhere,” Carson said before concluding the nation’s health ills could be cured by medical savings account, a favorite solution of conservatives.

“Here’s my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you’re born ’til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there’s nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they’re going to learn how to be responsible.”

In a piece entitled “Ben Carson for President” the Wall Street Journal gushed, “The Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon may not be politically correct, but he’s closer to correct than we’ve heard in years. “

The conservative media was all over Carson zinging the president and they didn’t conceal their joy.  The Washington Times headline boasted   “Conservative Dr. Ben Carson upstages Obama at prayer breakfast. ”   Breitbart.com proclaimed, “God Spoke Through Ben Carson at National Prayer Breakfast…..In Front Of Obama!”  “Obama gets Schooled on ObamaCare by Dr. Benjamin Carson” sneered The Drudge Report.

Carson cut up Obama without a scalpel.

Rush Limbaugh praised Carson’s speech saying “it gave me the shakes.”

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze burped happily, ” One of the more unique speeches delivered at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast came from Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Taking the stage before President Barack Obama’s faith-filled address, Carson spoke for more than 25 minutes, tackling issues ranging from education to personal responsibility. His keynote, while predicated upon the theme of Jesus Christ as his ultimate role model, also took a starkly political tone, advocating against some of the very policies the president has implemented.”

How did MSNBC, The Huffington Post, the New York Times, and most of the mainstream press cover the Carson story?   I checked around and the majority of media outlets either said little about Carson’s remarks or ignored it entirely.    Usually I’m dubious about the charge of widespread liberal bias by the mainstream media, but the across-the-board indifference by the press to Carson’s was notable.

The roots of Carson’s rage might trace back to being brushed off by White House officials when he offered suggestions on how to improve Obamacare.

“Two phone calls. In the first, I was having a decent conversation with the gentleman about some ideals I have. He was pretty enthusiastic. Then he said, “What did you do for the president during the campaign?” I said, “I’m an Independent.” Clunk. End of that conversation.”

“Two months later. I said, “I’m in the middle of teaching a class right now. Can we talk in about 40 minutes?” The individual was incensed. I mean, how could you possibly be doing something more important than talking to the White House? That was the end of that conversation.”

One way to get on Fox News?  Criticize Obama publicly.
One way to get on Fox News? Criticize Obama publicly.

And from those two short conversations, a grudge was born and Carson used the National Prayer Breakfast to let Obama how exactly how many damns he did not give about his policies.    Carson may say its up to God whether he swaps his stethoscope for a teleprompter, but there’s already a long list of Republicans geared up to go in 2016 and its hard to envision one speech is the fuel to launch a presidential campaign.

But they said the same thing about Barack Obama after the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Was it a little rude and a lot arrogant of Carson to show up Obama at what is supposed to be a non-partisan event?  Sure it was.  It might also turn out to be smart.