The possible presidential aspirant regaled attendees of the Fulton County Republican Party’s spring reception with tales from his well-documented life story, interweaving advice for the GOP on how to fix its image en route to moving the country forward during a spirited keynote address at the Westin hotel in Buckhead.
“The most important thing I was taught [as a child] was not to make excuses,” Carson told the crowd. “Could you imagine how much better we’d be in this country if our leaders thought the same way?”
Carson’s appearance in Buckhead is but the latest one on the public stage for a man whose rise to prominence as a celebrated physician and public figure is the stuff of Hollywood legend. His rags-to-riches bio is subject of the 2009 TV movie “Gifted Hands,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
Carson, an independent, recently hinted at a possible run for the presidency at the 61st annual National Prayer Breakfast in February, but did not broach the subject at the Buckhead function.
Georgia House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, who introduced Carson at the Westin, acknowledged being “quite impressed” with his remarks on the state of the country’s moral and economic state at the breakfast.
“What makes the story of Ben Carson so captivating is that he is the embodiment of [the American dream],” Jones said.
Education was a key theme of Carson’s address, unsurprising considering he’s recognized as one of the world’s foremost medical minds — cultivated early on by an illiterate mother who stressed the importance of academics.
Carson lamented American high school dropout rates and students’ lagging behind their peers globally, particularly in math and science.
“This is the technological age, yet we only produce 70,000 engineers a year while China produces 400,000,” he said. “Before 1930 our public education system was the envy of the world, but we started diluting it with political correctness … but we can fix it.”
Carson tabbed the situation as among those presenting opportunities for Republicans to make “huge” inroads into the African-American community.
“The Republican Party should start advocating that schools be built and supplied based on the state and not the neighborhood,” Carson said. “The system put in place by the do-gooders keeps students subjugated and from moving up.”
Carson also touched on other topics during his time at the podium — faith and the need for a fair taxation system among them — while also criticizing the “se