Lacena "Candy" Carson, wife of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, said her husband believes God led him to run for president and, even though he trails in polls for the Republican presidential nomination, he has no intention of dropping out unless he hears from God to do so.
She spoke Monday to a lecture hall full of students, Carson supporters and area residents at Lee University, one day before citizens across the country cast their votes in the Super Tuesday primary.
Using a phrase from the Bible, she said God called her husband to be the voice of one crying out in the wilderness about issues such as national security and the country's $19 trillion debt.
She said voters like and respect Carson, a well-known pediatric neurosurgeon and bestselling author, but they don't vote for him because the media tells them that he can't win.
But she hopes voters will "wake up."
The media wants someone it can manipulate, someone it can control, and her husband will not be controlled, she said Monday.
She called the media "stupid" and said that instead of focusing on issues, the media highlights insults and bickering for entertainment. But her husband is focused on improving the nation and speaking for the people in it, she said.
Ben Carson is the only candidate to gain 67 honorary doctoral degrees and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she said.
She said he presented a plan to get the country out of debt, a plan for education, defense, foreign policy and health care.
"This is the stuff that's out there, but you don't hear it from the media," Candy Carson said.
She said her husband didn't decide to run for president until he saw half a million signatures on a petition encouraging him. Then he prayed, she said.
"He had a conversation with God," Candy Carson said. She said he told God, "If you open the doors, I'll walk through."
Some of his staff members weren't as in tune with God as she and her husband, and they left the campaign, she said. So the Carsons had to restructure their organization, and they're moving forward, she said.
Carson held the first and second positions in several national polls for the Republican presidential nomination from fall 2015 until after the November 2015 Paris terror attacks. Since then, he has trailed candidates including Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
"We're hoping the people will wake up and realize that the shiniest ring in the room is not the best one for the job," Candy Carson said.
She said she suspects her husband would not work under another president unless they shared his views. He believes his purpose is to speak for the people and to always follow God's guidance. He's not sure if he could do that under another person's authority, she said.
Constable DeWayne Hicks with the Bradley County Sheriff's Department said Ben Carson has his vote and he wished more people had heard his wife speak.
"Our country is in bad shape, and I feel like he can turn our nation around," Hicks said.
Patrice Hieb, who also attended the event, said she appreciated Carson's openness and honesty.
"This is a calling that God has placed in their heart to help save our land for the future generations and for the rest of the world," she said.
At stake today in the Super Tuesday primary election for Republican candidates are 595 of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination. Democratic hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are competing for 865 of the 2,383 delegates needed to become the Democratic nominee.
Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6431.