Ben Carson Says He Is 'Leaving the Campaign Trail'

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during a town hall meeting, Feb. 21, 2016, in Reno, Nev. PlayMarcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
WATCH Ben Carson Suspends GOP Presidential Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told an audience of conservatives today outside Washington, D.C., that he is “leaving the campaign trail."

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"I realized it simply wasn’t going to happen," Carson said at the Conservative Political Action Conference here in National Harbor, Maryland.

"I will to continue to be heavily involved and try to save our nation. We have to save it," he added.

In recent weeks, Carson seemed to fade into the background as leading candidates like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio captured most of the attention on the campaign trail.

Ever since he launched his presidential bid last May, Carson’s campaign was something of a roller-coaster ride. At one point he led the Republican presidential field in national polls -- even topping Trump -- but his numbers sagged and he never regained the top spot.

ABC News' Jeff Naft and Paola Chavez contributed to this report.