The Daily Gamecock

Statehouse rally for Carson shows support in SC

While in Columbia on Aug. 24, Ben Carson officially registered at the South Carolina Republican Party headquarters for the 2016 presidential primary.

The streets surrounding the Statehouse were particularly loud Monday morning as enthusiastic drivers responded to "Honk 4 Ben" signs held up by Carson supporters, motivated in part by his presence in the state. 

The rally was organized by the "Win, Ben, Win!" campaign to help raise support for the 2016 presidential candidate.

"We're just a grassroots group right now," volunteer Jennifer Freeman said. "Just trying to come out and show our support in front of the Statehouse, show everyone that South Carolina has a big following for Ben Carson."

As a retired neurosurgeon, Carson is not the typical presidential candidate. His lack of a political background is a drawing factor for many of his followers.

“I trust him and I believe what he says, to the best of his knowledge, is fact,” Freeman said. “I know that he will do everything he can to unite our country instead of divide our country, to bring Democrats, Republicans; black, white, Hispanic; everyone together for one purpose.”

Although Carson is an all-around conservative, his supporters believe that his reputation for integrity will earn the support of the generally more liberal college demographic.

According to Columbia resident and volunteer Rachel Rizzuti, “Younger people are looking for somebody … who doesn’t just talk a good game and do something else later on. And I think he has that record that others don’t.”

Carson had spoken earlier in the day at the Seneca Family Restaurant in Oconee County where by 7 a.m. it was standing-room only for spectators. After his stop in Columbia, he spoke in Anderson, South Carolina along with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.