Eyeing a presidential bid, Ben Carson warns of anarchy in the U.S.

Ben Carson speaks as the keynote speaker at the Wake Up America gala Event September 5, 2014 at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Laura Segall, Getty Images

Ben Carson, the former pediatric neurosurgeon who's building a following among conservatives, says the "likelihood is strong" that he'll mount a presidential bid in 2016 - that is, if elections actually take place.

On Fox News Radio last week, Carson suggested elections may not take place two years from now because "there may be so much anarchy going on."

Asked to elaborate on his comments on "Fox News Sunday," Carson said, "I hope that that's not going to be the case, but certainly there is the potential."

"You have to recognize that we have a rapidly increasing national debt. A very unstable financial foundation. And you have all these things going on like the [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] crisis that could very rapidly change things that are going on in our nation. And unless we begin to deal with these things in a comprehensive way, and in a logical way, there is no telling what could happen in just a matter of a couple of years," he said.

He went on to say that while it would be "much more pleasant" to stay on the sidelines, "sometimes we're called to do things that we don't want to do because we have to do them." If everyone runs for the hills, he said, "then we get what we deserve."

Although Carson has never held elected office, he remains a popular figure among the base of the GOP. On Saturday, he came in second place at the Values Voter Summit straw poll with 22 percent of the votes. He finished behind Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who got 25 percent of votes but ahead of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a popular figure among the religious right.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt last week, Carson said "the likelihood is strong" that he will run for president in 2016.

"I think the chances are reasonably good of that happening. I'm waiting, you know, obviously, for a few more months. I want to make sure that it's clearly something my fellow Americans want me to do," he said.

On "Fox News Sunday," Wallace asked whether he would have enough experience to lead the country despite having not held office before.

"I think what is required for leadership is wisdom and the ability to assemble an appropriate team, ability to listen and an ability to make wise decisions," Carson said. "And we also have to recognize what I said a little bit earlier. Our system was designed by our founders, with the people in mind, and with the will of the people in mind. Not with the will of the government."

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.