Carson, Fiorina launch 2016 bids as diversity of GOP field grows

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The GOP presidential field grew by two Monday as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former technology executive Carly Fiorina both announced they are running for president.

The two new candidates enter a quickly expanding GOP field as Democrats get off to a relatively slow start, with another Republican — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — set to make his announcement on Tuesday. Together, Carson and Fiorina add to the diversity on the Republican side; Fiorina is the first, and possibly only, female Republican in the race, while Carson is the first black candidate of either party to enter the campaign.

Carson formally launched his campaign in his hometown of Detroit on Monday.

“I’m Ben Carson, and I’m a candidate for president of the United States,” Carson said, after being introduced with a series of musical acts.

In his soft-spoken tone, Carson blasted big government — and the Affordable Care Act — while also acknowledging his history of controversial comments. He described his candor, however, as an asset.

“I’m not politically correct,” he said, to applause. “I’m probably never going to be politically correct, because I’m not a politician. I don’t want to be a politician. … Politicians do what is politically expedient. And I want to do what’s right.”

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