Back in 2014 when they were still unsuccessfully scheming to oust House Speaker John Boehner, conservatives engaged in some out of the box thinking – and came up with something that sounds like it belongs in The Onion. Ben Carson tells The Hill that before he launched his presidential campaign, several conservatives in the House tried to talk him into running for speaker.
According to the humble former neurosurgeon, they were searching for "someone strong and courageous" to replace Boehner. When he abruptly resigned from Congress last October, Republicans eventually decided to go with Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, a more qualified and less sleepy speaker.
See more of Carson on the campaign trail:
Ben Carson on the campaign trail
Ben Carson eyed for House Speaker, despite lack of experience
MT. AYR, IA - JANUARY 22 : Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is introduced during his 'Trust in God Townhall' campaign stop January 22, 2016 in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. Carson, who is seeking the nomination from the Republican Party is on the presidential campaign trail across Iowa ahead of the Iowa Caucus taking place February 1. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a Liberty University Convocation in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. As retired neurosurgeon Carson has risen in the polls, media reports have revisited his accounts of acts of violence as a child, a key part of the redemption story he discusses on the campaign trail. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the media before speaking at a gala for the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida at PGA National Resort on November 6, 2015 in Palm Beach, Florida. Carson has come under media scrutiny for possibly exaggerating his background and other statements he has made recently. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 16: Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson (L) eats a piece of pizza while touring the Iowa State Fair on August 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage and touring the fairgrounds. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - OCTOBER 29: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during a news conference before a campaign event at Colorado Christian University on October 29, 2015 in Lakewood, Colorado. Ben Carson was back on the campaign trail a day after the third republican debate held at the University of Colorado Boulder. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Scenes around the the Value Voters Summit on September 25, 2015 in Washington DC. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson takes the stage at the event. Dr Carson speaks to the media after the speach. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Attendees wait for Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, not pictured, to arrive during a campaign stop at the birthplace of the Michigan Republican Party in Jackson, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. Carson, the third candidate in the Republican race to have never held elected office, saw his numbers drop following the debate last week. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, listens as he attends a service at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. Carson will be speaking at the Iowa State Fair, which is expected to host 18 presidential candidates and runs until Aug. 23. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson participates in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, eats a slice of pizza as he tours the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. In a Sunday interview with Fox News, Carson doubled down on his assertion that a speech given by President Barack Obama intended to sell the American public on his nuclear deal with Iran contained 'coded innuendos employing standard anti-Semitic themes.' Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Although every speaker of the House so far has been a member of the House, the Constitution actually doesn't require this; in theory, there is no rule preventing an outsider such as Carson from holding the position.
While this sounds like something we should throw in the same file as Carson's failed attempt to stab a loved one and his wife's frantic hunt for office supplies mere seconds after giving birth, other sources confirmed it's true. Arizona Republican Representative Matt Salmon identified himself as one of a group of three congressmen who delivered the pitch.
Carson said he turned down the offer because assuming the speakership would have cut into the valuable time he was planning to spend running for president.
"It would have been very difficult to do my job as the speaker of the House while running for president," he said. "You've seen how difficult a time Senator Rubio is having fulfilling his senatorial obligations. The speaker of the House has even more obligations."
Ten facts you should know about Ben Carson:
Ben Carson facts you should know
Ben Carson eyed for House Speaker, despite lack of experience
1. He is a weekly opinion columnist for The Washington Times.
(Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
2. He is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and his father was a minister.
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
10. He and his wife started a scholarship fund called "Carson scholars fund" in 1994 which has so far awarded 6,700 scholarships to kids for "academic excellence and humanitarian qualities."