June 10, 2023

Carson Raises $20M In Past 3 Months For 2016 Presidential Bid

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Political newcomer Ben Carson raised more than $20 million in the past three months to fuel his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign said Wednesday, a haul of campaign cash that shatters records and sets a new bar for his GOP rivals.

As other campaigns scrambled to bring in final donations before the end of the fundraising period at midnight, Carson’s senior team celebrated its massive haul at its suburban Washington campaign headquarters.

Ben Carson said Wednesday he’s pulling in lots of money amid all the backlash he’s received for remarks he made regarding Muslims in politics. The retired neurosurgeon said he raised $1 million within 24 hours following the CNN debate on September 16, and that donations have poured in after remarks he made over the weekend about Islam and the presidency. When asked about whether his comments had affected his donations, Carson told Fox News on Wednesday morning, “The money has been coming in so fast, it’s hard to even keep up with it. I remember the day of the last debate, within 24 hours we raised $1 million. And it’s coming in at least at that rate if not quite a bit faster.” Carson was widely criticized for his comments with one organization even calling him to resign, and he has since shifted his position on the issue in the following days, saying he would support a Muslim president who swore to put the Constitution before religion and disavowed Sharia law. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has never held public office, said in a fundraising email to supporters Saturday that his campaign was “on the verge of our biggest month ever — a whopping $10 million dollars raised.” The campaign has previously said that he raised $9 million total in July and August, and the $20 million figure was confirmed by campaign spokesman Doug Watts.

Carson’s numbers cannot be independently verified until he files a report on his finances next month, and it is also not yet known how much money it cost for Carson to raise that $20 million. Heavily reliant on low-dollar fundraising — donations that are less than $200 — Carson burned through much of his cash in his opening months on fundraising costs, including building contributor email lists. But if reached, the $20 million haul would likely outweigh nearly all of his Republican rivals’ and give Carson’s campaign more staying power than originally expected. Despite his appeal with elements of the Republican grassroots, some GOP operatives have wondered whether Carson could assemble the financial muscle to mount a serious bid for the Republican nomination.

Two dozen staffers shared a red, white and blue chocolate cake, Wednesday, topped with frosted numbers “$31,000,000” — the total amount the retired neurosurgeon’s campaign has raised since he launched his White House bid in May.

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