Ben Carson Sees No 'Political Path Forward' After Super Tuesday Race | NBC Chicago
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Ben Carson Sees No 'Political Path Forward' After Super Tuesday Race

The retired neurosurgeon also told supporters he will not attend Fox's GOP debate in Michigan on Thursday

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    Getty Images, File
    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson announced he "does not see a path forward" to supporters in a statement released on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Here, Carson appears at a campaign event in this October 29, 2015 file photo.

    Ben Carson, the soft-spoken neurosurgeon whose conservatism electrified some in the Republican party, told his supporters he no longer sees a "political path forward" in the race for the White House.

    "I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of 'We the People' will continue," he said Wednesday in a statement on his website.

    Carson, who did not officially suspend his campaign, said in his statement that he will not attend Fox's GOP debate in Michigan on Thursday, but will release more information about his "movement" at the end of the week. 

    "I will discuss more about the future of this movement during my speech on Friday at CPAC in Washington, D.C."

    Carson, a renowned surgeon, had at one point surged in the chaotic Republican race for president on the strength of his calm demeanor, religious devotion and willingness to be politically incorrect. But that support waned, and Carson only managed to secure eight delegates in the Republican race. 

    Though he was never a politician, Carson topped some polls in late October, but his star steadily waned. The 64-year-old candidate did not break double digits in the first four elections, according to NBC News projections.

    The consummate political outsider in a year when outsider candidates succeeded, Carson has said he never intended to run for president. 

    Born into poverty in Detroit, he attended Yale and Michigan universities and led pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center for 29 years. In his acclaimed career, depicted in a 2009 movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr, he directed the first surgery to separate twins connected at the back of the head. 

    His national political profile rose when he spoke at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, where he critiqued what he called the modern welfare state and the nation's overall direction.

    Carson's campaign was the subject of some the biggest political intrigue of the 2016 election during the Iowa caucuses.

    In the midst of voting on Feb. 1, Carson's campaign announced he would be going home to Florida to pick up a change of clothes. The campaign of rival Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, appeared to leap on that statement as an indication Carson was dropping out, which Carson quickly clarified that he did not do.

    But some Carson caucus votes did appear to go to Cruz, which may have contributed to Cruz's win in the state over Donald Trump, and may have dipped into Carson's tally as well.

    NBC's Rajeev Dhir and The Associated Press contributed to this report.