Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suspended his presidential campaign for a financial crisis. Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson is doing so for a book tour.
According to ABC News, Carson has put his public campaign events on hold to focus on fundraising events and stops to promote his new book, A More Perfect Union. He is scheduled to hold book signings next week in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
Carson's last public event was a health care town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 2. He will not appear at a public campaign event again until the next Republican presidential debate in Boulder, Colorado, on Oct. 28.
Carson's campaign staff will not travel with him while he's on his book tour to avoid the unsavory image that he's using his presidential bid to make money, a spokesman told ABC. But there are legal issues at hand, too. Federal law prohibits candidates from using campaign resources to profit personally.
Even though he won't be supported by campaign staff or resources, the tour still gives Carson an opportunity to travel and engage with prospective voters. Only in this case, the costs and planning associated with the tour will be handled by his publisher, Sentinel.
The retired doctor isn't the first presidential candidate to take advantage of such a scheme. During the 2012 campaign, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich similarly blurred the lines between official campaign business and his vast for-profit book empire.
Carson's fundraising pace -- he will hold some 20 events over the next two weeks, according to ABC -- also explains the amount of money his campaign has hauled in over the last three months. In September, the campaign announced it had raised more than $20 million, one of the largest amounts in the race so far.
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