Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he was asked to take over for John Boehner as House Speaker, The Hill reported on Thursday.
“They were looking for an alternative, they were looking for someone strong and courageous who might really be able to add some spine and some backbone,” the former neurosurgeon said. “I was very flattered that there were several members that thought I’d fit the bill very well, but I think it played out correctly the way that it did.”
Carson did not identify which legislators pitched him on the idea, but Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) confirmed to The Hill that he was part of a group of three party members who approached him. A second, unidentified source said that “several” GOP lawmakers broached the possibility to Carson in 2014 in case they were able to vote Boehner out of his position. Boehner resigned last October.
The candidate said on Thursday that taking the lawmakers up on their offer would have “ruined” his current campaign.
“It would have been very difficult to do my job as the Speaker of the House while running for president,” he said. “You’ve seen how difficult a time Sen. Rubio is having fulfilling his senatorial obligations. The Speaker of the House has even more obligations.”