WASHINGTON (AP) — Baltimore pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson is becoming a columnist for The Washington Times, with his first of what will be a weekly column published Wednesday.

The paper made the announcement Tuesday. Carson made headlines with his speech earlier this year at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

In his speech, Carson criticized political correctness for stunting healthy debate and he talked about the virtues of a flat tax. An editorial in The Wall Street Journal after his speech ran with the headline “Ben Carson for President.”

A registered independent, Carson was also a featured speaker at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in March. The Times, founded in 1982 by the leader of the South Korea-based Unification Church, is often viewed as the conservative alternative to the Washington Post.

“Dr. Carson is one of the freshest and most powerful voices in the conservative movement whose values were forged in the decades he spent helping everyday Americans as a pediatric neurosurgeon and public servant. We’re excited to be adding his thought leadership to our opinion pages,” said Times CEO Larry Beasley in a story announcing Carson’s appointment.

Carson’s first column, published Wednesday under the byline Benjamin S. Carson Sr., is also on the topic of political correctness, which he says is “one of the most malignant and destructive tendencies our nation has ever faced.” He says political correctness “imposes a code of silence that prevents discussion of game-changing alterations of our fundamental social pillars.”

He also defends himself against any critics. He says in the column that he imagined that after he retired this month after 40 years he would learn to play golf and organ and learn new languages. But instead he says he will “revel in the opportunity to discuss many of the important issues of today even though many detractors will continue to try to put me in a box and say that I can only comment on things relevant to the field of neurosurgery.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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