Rising Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson gets warm welcome in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs — Rising Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson stole the show Friday at a conservative gathering in Steamboat Springs.
After he signed several copies of his books, posed for photos with fans and their babies and played a game of pool in front of a crowd at the Steamboat Grand, Carson gave a speech that was well-received by the hundreds of conservatives in attendance at the Seventh Annual Freedom Conference.
Carson, who has surged to second place behind Donald Trump in a recent poll of GOP contenders, also fielded questions from conference attendees.
Asked about his rise in the polls, Carson suggested it means the American people are “waking up and starting to realize political experience is not the answer.”
He said members of Congress collectively have 9,000 years of political experience. “Where has it gotten us?,” Carson asked.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Several members of the audience clapped when a moderator noted Carson had surpassed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in a recent poll.
During his speech, Carson spoke of wanting to create a mechanism for people who are in poverty to move up the economic ladder.
He also outlined his ideas for reducing both the size of government and national debt.
He said if he was president, he would call in every government department director and order them to cut 2-3 percent of their budget or be fired.
The exercise would continue for three to four years, along with a hiring freeze, he said.
Carson also spoke about his humble beginnings and the thriftiness of his mother.
He said when he was a child, his mother would stop at farms and propose that she would pick four bushels of corn or fruit, keep one and give the other three back to the farmers.
“If my mother were secretary of the treasury, we would not be in a deficit situation,” Carson said.
Dozens of conference attendees gave Carson a warm welcome in the morning during a meet and greet in a tent at Torian Plum Plaza.
“You get a warm feeling when you shake his hand,” Steamboat resident Trish Riniker said after she met Carson.
Other people who had just met Carson described him as “intelligent,” “humble” and “caring.”
The Freedom Conference continues on Saturday with several more speakers and sessions.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The Longevity Project event, sponsored by Steamboat Pilot & Today, has shifted from in-person to virtual. The keynote speaker Kevin Hines contracted COVID-19, and he will now be presenting his talk remotely.