Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is reportedly going to endorse front-runner Donald Trump. At least, that’s what Trump said during the GOP debate that was hosted by CNN on Thursday.
When asked during the debate about issues concerning education, the TV personality briefly segued into saying that the former neurosurgeon will be “endorsing me, by the way, tomorrow morning.”
Trump, 69, will be holding a press conference at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday at around 9 a.m. This is probably where Ben Carson will formally endorse him.
During the debate, Trump even said that he and Carson talked earlier that day, covering topics and issues about education.
“I’m going to have Ben very involved with education, something that’s an expertise of his,” he said afterward.
— CNN (@CNN) March 11, 2016
Carson, 64, was seen as a strong candidate early in the campaign period, mainly due his faith as a born-again Christian. As a result, he had gained a huge following among Republicans in the evangelical community.
Carson even managed to briefly get ahead of Trump in polls earlier this year. However, the Michigan-born former candidate failed to address a number of issues thrown at him, particularly ones concerning foreign policies and national security.
It seems that for now, only Trump knows about his former rival’s endorsement.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN host Erin Burnett on Thursday that he does not know the details of the endorsement.
Nevertheless, Burnett said that if the endorsement is true, then that will definitely be a boost to Trump’s already strong campaign heading into Super Tuesday 3.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 11, 2016
Both Carson and Trump’s campaigns have also refused to comment any further about the possible endorsement.
If what Trump has been saying is indeed true, then Carson will be the second former presidential candidate from the Republican Party to endorse the New York billionaire. Last month, after losing in the earlier primaries, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie endorsed the GOP front-runner.
— Campaign Trump (@Campaign_Trump) March 9, 2016
Ben Carson recently said in an interview that he was open to supporting either Trump or Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the crucial stretch of the state primaries.
“You have to consider all the information, who is most likely to win, and what kind of shenanigans will drive voters away so they will not participate in the process,” said Carson. “We have to be very careful in all those things.”
Talking to Fox News Radio on Thursday, the former presidential candidate said that he is “certainly leaning” toward a particular candidate. He then explained that there are two Trumps.
“There’s the Donald Trump that you see on television and who gets out in front of big audiences, and there’s the Donald Trump behind the scenes,” Carson said.
Ben Carson: I’m “Certainly Leaning” Toward Supporting “Thinking Individual” Trump https://t.co/m3Slxq3aMK
— andrew kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) March 10, 2016
Cruz, 45, will definitely feel the sting of this potential endorsement, as he still trails Trump by a relatively big margin – 458 against 359.
The report speculated that Carson’s alleged decision to endorse Trump is rooted in the previous conflict involving himself and Cruz during the Iowa caucuses.
Just before the caucus voting began, news got out that Carson would be heading back to his home in Florida and not push to other states like New Hampshire or South Carolina to continue campaigning.
Cruz’ campaign interpreted the information wrongfully and assumed that Carson was backing out of the race. The campaign then told precinct captains just before voting started that Carson had dropped out.
Ted Cruz has since apologized to Ben Carson, although the former medical practitioner possibly had the issue in mind when he picked Donald Trump over him.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]