Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks at the National Religious Broadcasters convention, Feb. 26, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.
Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP

Carson: ‘I refuse to play by Washington’s political rule book’

Updated

Ben Carson on Monday defended his decision to stay in the Republican presidential race, despite not winning any contests and low expectations ahead of Super Tuesday.

In a Fox News op-ed, Carson argued for the viability of his campaign and against the emphasis on poll numbers. 

The presidential campaign: Ben Carson
Ben Carson’s meteoric rise has been followed by a rather steady fall.

“With every call to drop out, pundits and political operatives salivate over polling percentages – as though the people they represent were commodities to be bought and bartered in the backrooms of D.C.’s exclusive political clubs,” Carson wrote. “This mentality is driving voters away from the political system they have so long supported.”

The retired neurosurgeon maintained that a ballot cast for him is “a vote for uniquely qualified and principled leadership,” before saying that he refused to “play by Washington’s political rule book.” Some conservatives have called for Carson to exit the race, a proposition that he rejected in the op-ed. 

“It is a fundamentally undemocratic response to insinuate that people should be stripped of their choice ‘for the good of the party,’” Carson wrote. “That’s why I’ve vowed to continue our campaign as long as we have revenue and support, until the people have decided.”

The numbers from some Super Tuesday states paint a discouraging picture for the Carson campaign, according the results of new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls. Carson is at 9 percent in Georgia and Tennessee, and at 8 percent in Texas. He came in at fourth place in each of these polls with only Gov. John Kasich behind him.

Ben Carson, Fox News and Polling

Carson: 'I refuse to play by Washington’s political rule book'

Updated