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John Philip Sousa great-grandson’s Super PAC for Ben Carson ready to go on air

(REUTERS/Mike Theiler) (REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

The great grandson of John Philip Sousa, the composer of the famous The Washington Post march (Yes, you’ve heard it.), says he’s raised almost $3 million through a super PAC to convince Dr. Ben Carson to run for president.

The former Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, who is unapologetic in his blunt speak, became a star to John Philip Sousa IV and other conservatives when he blasted the Affordable Care Act at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast with President Obama only several feet away.

In an interview Tuesday with the Loop, Sousa said his draft-Carson movement has yielded over 7,100 volunteers and 200,000 signed petitions. Each week he mails thousands of them to Carson’s office. Sousa said the National Draft Ben Carson for President super PAC is airing its first radio ad next week during the Sean Hannity show. By the third quarter, he said, they’ll move into television ads.

As of the end of last year, the Carson-inspired super PAC, which formed in August, had raised a little over a $1 million, but spent almost as much on fundraising efforts, according to the most recent FEC filing.

“He’s what our forefathers envisioned, the neighborhood statesman, the community statesman … not a professional politician,” Sousa said, adding that he believes Carson can heal a country that hasn’t been this divided “since the Civil War.”

Liberals would argue that it’s Carson’s rhetoric that is divisive. And Sousa, a self-described activist, also worked to get controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio re-elected in 2012. On his personal Web site, Sousa writes, “I am tired of pressing one for English, I am tired of looking for the English instructions on boxes …”

Carson spoke last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and said in an interview there that he has no desire to run for president but if “that seemed to be what God was calling me to do, I would certainly do it. And I would never turn my back on my fellow citizens, if there was a hue and cry for such.”

So if Carson does jump into the 2016 race, will The Washington Post march play at his campaign rallies?

“Certainly if I get the opportunity to, I will,” Sousa said. “We’ll make sure at his inauguration they dance the two step.”


Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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