Ben Carson has been on the road lately, stumping for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. And on Friday, the man whose bid for the nation's top office ended in the primary was in Colorado Springs urging Trump supporters to vote and encourage others to do the same.
With less than five days left until the final votes are in, Carson and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin spoke to more than 300 people at The Classical Academy in the northern part of the city Friday afternoon. Carson told the crowd gathered in the school's gymnasium that he has learned a lot while campaigning for Trump and conservative values.
"I rediscovered something," he said. "It's called common sense. It exists within the majority of the people in this nation. And they don't want to be manipulated."
In a post-rally interview with The Gazette, Carson called this election "pivotal," saying that the person in the White House for the next four years will have the power to "fundamentally change America." He said either Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton will wield a lot of power if elected Tuesday. The winner will appoint two to four U.S. Supreme Court justices, Carson said.
"We're talking about potential activist judges," he said.
Fallin echoed Carson on the impact the next president will have on the nation's judiciary. She also took the chance to slam Clinton during her time to speak before Carson addressed the enthusiastic group of Trump supporters.
"I believe that (Clinton) is not working for the American people," Fallin said, reminding the crowd of an investigation of Clinton by the FBI.
"She has been out working for herself."
After Fallin focused on Clinton and her concern that dangerous illegal immigrants will go unnoticed under another four years with a Democrat in the White House, Carson focused on health care and education and said the Democrats simply want to "gain control of our lives," by pushing for universal health care.
Carson said it was "very appropriate" that the rally was being held in a school.
"Education played a big role in the rise of our nation," he said, noting that Trump is a proponent of school choice for parents and school vouchers.
"It really doesn't matter what background you come from in this country," he said. "If you get a good education, you write your own ticket."
When asked whether getting people to the polls this late in the race was more important than continuing to talk about the issues, Carson said.
"One of the ways to get the vote out is to stress the issues."
He emphasized the importance of Colorado as a swing state, saying "our freedoms are at stake." Carson added that Coloradans value freedom and putting people in office who "respect our Constitution."
The former presidential candidate said he threw his hat in the ring for the presidency because he had many people urging him to do so. He felt obligated to make a run with that overwhelming support.
When asked if he would make another bid, Carson said it is not likely.
"Not of my own volition," he said. "I really wouldn't want to."