There is no doubt that soft-spoken, dignified former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s endorsement of the loud and bombastic Donald Trump left many scratching their heads. The formal announcement of Carson’s support for Trump was considered strange, as well, with Carson assuring voters that there are “two Donald Trumps” and that he was endorsing the one which, apparently, not many have seen yet.
Carson’s endorsement of Trump has been called “lukewarm,” but it got even cooler on Monday when Carson seemed to reassure voters that even if Trump is pretty bad, not to worry too much — it would only be temporary.
On Monday, during an interview with Steve Malzberg of Newsmax TV, Carson offered up some lackluster reassurances about Donald Trump, saying that if the GOP frontrunner wasn’t a good president, “we’re only looking at four years.” Then, to top it off, Carson admitted he would have preferred another candidate.
“Even if Donald Trump turns out not to be such a great president, which I don’t think is the case, I think he’s going to surround himself with really good people, but even if he didn’t, we’re only looking at four years as opposed to multiple generations and perhaps the loss of the American dream forever.”
Carson seems to be saying that it’s less a matter of actually supporting Donald Trump, but as seeing him as the lesser risk — or the best of a bad bunch, in other words.
Carson openly admitted that backing Trump was more about what was “practical” than what was “preferred.”
“I have to look at what is practical. I didn’t see a path for (John) Kasich, who I like, or for (Marco) Rubio, who I like,” Carson said. Furthermore, he feels that a Cruz win is unlikely, as well, stating that unless there was a “miraculous change,” Cruz would not be able to cross over and grab the independent vote or the Democratic vote, meaning that his path to the White House would almost certainly be a dead-end.
“So I have to look at what is practical and what is going to save this country and the American dream for the next generation,” Carson said. “Is there another scenario that I would have preferred? Yes — but that scenario isn’t available.”
Carson also said he would be serve in an “advisory capacity” in a potential Trump administration.
When on the campaign trail himself, Trump referred to the retired neurosurgeon as “pathological” and compared him to a child molester.
“That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that… as an example: child molesting,” Trump said, referring to a story in Carson’s book Gifted Hands. “You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.”
But despite the deeply personal attacks against Carson by Trump during the campaign, Carson said he endorsed Trump, because he is a “big picture guy,” and he believes Trump will bring in a greater majority of voters.
“I recognize that he’s bringing in [to the Republican Party] a lot of people who were not interested in coming in before. A lot of those people were coming with me as well,” Carson said.
Trump is currently holding a strong lead in the GOP primary, with a total of 469 delegates to his name at this point. Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, is in second place. Trump is favored to win Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina on Tuesday, March 15. Furthermore, Trump is in a close fight with Ohio Gov. John Kasich in Ohio and that state may tip toward Trump, as well. If Trump takes both Ohio and Florida, he will essentially block every other candidate from getting to the number of delegates needed to get the Republican nomination.
[Photo by Bloomberg/Getty Images]