By Jack Fink

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson attracted about 1,700 people Tuesday during two book tour stops in North Texas.

Some people came with multiple copies of his book, “A More Perfect Union” for him to sign for family and friends. Among the 1,000 fans at the Barnes & Noble at the Hulen Shopping Center in South Fort Worth, were Bob and Maryellen Dougher of Rhome in Wise County. They say they knew years ago he’s the right man for the job.

Mr. Dougher says, “Back in Virginia at our grandson’s graduation, I turned to my wife and said there goes our next President. That was five years ago even before he entertained running.”

Seven-hundred others waited inside the Sam’s Club in Plano Tuesday afternoon.

The retired neurosurgeon remains in second place in national polls. His campaign slogan “Heal, Inspire, Revive” isn’t one people typically hear on the road to the White House.

Dr. Carson says, “I think a lot of people in the country realize we’re in critical condition as a nation. And if we don’t get it straightened out this time, we may not get it straightened out.”

When asked about his campaign’s recent request for Secret Service Protection, Carson said “I’m not going to speak about personal security, not in public. I don’t want to talk about that.” And when asked about receiving threats, Carson responded, “I’m sure there have been significant threats.”

While most candidates are focusing on the early voting states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, Texas is still very much an important place during the primaries. The Lone Star State has repeatedly proven to be ripe for fundraising for both Republicans and Democrats. It’s also the big prize on Super Tuesday, March 1, when 13 states hold primaries or caucuses.

Carson says there’s nothing unique about his efforts to win Texas. “The strategy to win Texas is the same as it is everywhere else, and that is to tell the truth. Not stick your finger in the air, and see what people want to say or want you to say, but tell the truth and deal with our problems.”

He says his top three priorities are to reduce the nation’s massive debt, have the U.S. lead in the world again, and to unify the country, which he says is too divided.

A reporter asked Carson about his appeal to African-American voters, and whether his message resonated with them. Carson answered, “There are a group of people who very much want to make sure our message does not get through to them, so they can say he doesn’t like you guys, he’s a hater, and he’s an Uncle Tom, but as they hear the message, I think you’ll see that dynamic change quite a bit.”

He says his message is the same for African-Americans as it is for every voter. “You know, we have to create the circumstances in America that allow us to develop all of our people.”

Carson says the economy isn’t in good shape, especially because of a falling labor participation rate.

His prescription to nurse the economy back to health he says is to cut the numerous regulations put into place by President Barack Obama’s administration and reduce corporate taxes.

Carson is among six Republicans who addressed evangelical Christians during the North Texas Presidential Forum at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. He reminded supporters Tuesday he is a man of faith.

Carson trails only billionaire Donald Trump, another political outsider.

Trump is as brash, as Carson is soft-spoken, something Janice Breitenstine admires. “Being calm, and thought provoking and thoughtful, the fact that he’s an outsider is definitely a plus, he’s not entrenched.”

This is among the reasons Carson continues to do well in national polls.

On Sunday, Senator Ted Cruz predicted neither Carson nor Trump would win the Republican nomination because voters were looking for a consistent conservative. Carson responded by saying he’s heard other people say that before, and they haven’t been right yet.

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