Ben Carson Launches Conservative Think Tank, Calls for ‘Commonsense Solutions’ to America’s Problems

February 3, 2021 Updated: February 3, 2021

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced Wednesday that he has launched a nonprofit think tank named the American Cornerstone Institute.

The institute, according to its website, pursues “commonsense solutions to America’s most pressing issues, while ensuring our country stands firm in support of our founding principles.”

“The American Cornerstone Institute (ACI) is dedicated to promoting and preserving individual and religious liberty, helping our country’s most vulnerable find new hope, and developing methods to decrease the federal government’s role in society and to improve efficiency to best serve ALL our nation’s citizens,” the institute’s mission statement reads, pledging to be “a voice for reason and civility” in a nation that is “increasingly devoid of common sense.”

In a commentary piece on RealClearPolitics, Carson said his think tank will focus on a variety of topics including problems of American urban life, education, religious liberty, and the value of self-efficiency. It will also actively “push and remind” politicians in Washington to allow and encourage local communities to make their own decisions.

“There have been many calls to heal the divide that has polarized our great nation,” the former neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican primary candidate wrote. “Our goal is simple: heal, inspire, and revive America.”

Carson is the latest Trump administration official to start or resume their think tank career. Last month, Washington-based conservative think tank Hudson Institute saw the return of Elaine Chao, who joined the institute in 2016 as a distinguished fellow before she was appointed to lead Trump’s Transportation Department. It also welcomed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whom many say is preparing for a potential 2024 presidential bid.

“I am pleased to be joining Hudson Institute and look forward to contributing to its mission of promoting American leadership and global engagement,” Pompeo said.

“From his leadership in promoting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors to confronting strategic threats to the United States, Secretary Pompeo has been among the most consequential secretaries of State,” said John Walters, president and CEO of Hudson Institute. “It is an honor to have this outstanding public servant join Hudson Institute.”

Aligning himself with the institute could give Pompeo the opportunity to engage in policy discussions and be close to donors of the Republican Party, according to Axios, which first reported the matter.

Pompeo, who is now a private citizen, recently raised speculations about his White House ambition when he appeared to be counting down until the next presidential election.

He wrote “1,384 days,” on Twitter Jan. 21, the day after President Joe Biden’s inauguration. It is the number of days until Election Day 2024, when the the first term of Joe Biden’s presidency is about to end.