ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s recent rise in popularity was on display in Anaheim on Wednesday, when thousands of people came to the Anaheim Convention Center to hear Carson speak.
The retired neurosurgeon has surged recently in many polls to second place among Republican candidates behind Donald Trump.
He delivered a message of self-sufficiency to the crowd of about 6,000 in Anaheim.
“It is not the government’s responsibility to take care of everybody else,” he said to much applause.
Asked by CBS2’s Dave Bryan to explain his surge in the polls, Carson said in his understated way that voters can relate to him.
“People recognize that I’m one of them,” Carson said.
Pressed on what distinguishes him from Trump, Carson cited his modesty, which he said is rooted in his religious faith.
“By humility and a fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life,” Carson said. “That’s a big part of who I am — humility and a fear of the Lord. I don’t get that impression from [Trump].”
Shawn Steel, a member of the Republican National Committee who has not endorsed a candidate, said Carson’s mild-mannered demeanor could appeal to voters.
Still, not everyone left the rally satisfied.
“I’m bothered that he did not speak about abortion and the child killing and Planned Parenthoud,” said Heather Mechanic, who drove to the rally from San Diego.
Carson’s swing through Southern California was also scheduled to include a fundraising event in Beverly Hills. He will take a trip to Texas on Thursday and return to the area for the second Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley on September 16.