Washington (CNN)- Ben Carson on Friday officially ended his presidential campaign and revealed his next move: chairing a group focused on getting out the Christian vote in November.
“Even though I might be leaving the campaign trail, you know there’s a lot of people who love me. They just won’t vote for me,” Carson told the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in National Harbor, Maryland. “But it’s OK. It’s not a problem. I will still continue to be heavily involved in trying to save our nation.”
When Carson said he would be “leaving the campaign trail,” the crowd gasped, giving him a standing ovation.
Later in the speech, Carson explained, “I did the math. I looked at the delegate counts … and I realized it simply wasn’t going to happen. And if that’s the case, then I simply didn’t want to interfere with the process.”
Carson did not endorse another Republican candidate.
He used the speech mostly to reiterate his campaign themes, but did also thank his campaign volunteers, especially Braden Joplin, an Iowa staffer who died in a car crash before the state’s caucuses.
“It’s an experience that I will never forget,” Carson said.