Neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson posted a photo to Facebook Friday afternoon which has gone viral and propelled him over Donald Trump in Facebook followers.
Carson posted a photo of himself standing in front of a Christmas tree holding a sign that says, “Merry Christmas.” Carson wrote in the Facebook post, “Not afraid to say Merry Christmas!” The sign has a Christian fish symbol drawn underneath the holiday greeting, and a large ornament on the tree in the background says “Christ Is Born.”
In less than 24 hours, the post has over 600,000 likes and almost 50,000 shares.
The photo also propelled Carson to more than five million Facebook followers, putting him ahead of his celebrity rival Donald Trump — leading him in the Republican field, The Hill reports. Of the other Republicans running for president, Rand Paul is third with nearly 2.1 million Facebook followers. After that, Mike Huckabee is approaching 1.9 million and Ted Cruz is at about 1.7 million Facebook followers.
Carson’s message comes after a flurry of anti-Christmas rhetoric and lawsuits that have spread across the country. Public displays of Christmas celebration, from courthouse nativities to Starbucks’ red holiday cups, have become contentious issues with significant media coverage.
With the viral photo, Carson made clear where he stands and appealed to the Christian base which will be key in the upcoming primary.
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