Ben Carson unceremoniously left a CNN interview on Saturday while visiting Detroit. The neurosurgeon was in the city accompanying presidential candidate Donald Trump during Trump’s campaign to connect with black voters.
On Saturday, Carson introduced Trump at a predominantly black church in Detroit. Although Carson lost to Trump in the GOP primary, the retired neurosurgeon is now acting as an adviser to the Trump campaign. Carson’s outreach includes trying to bridge the gap between Trump and African-American communities.
Carson introduced Trump during the Great Faith Ministries Church speech where Trump touted unity and togetherness, despite his abysmal approval rating with African Americans.
Huffington Post reports that part of Trump’s speech discussed the divided nature of the country. “Our nation is too divided. We talk past each other, not to each other, and those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what is going on. They don’t know, they have no clue…I’m here today to learn, so that we can together remedy injustice in any form,” said Trump.
Trump’s speech was met with protests outside the church. Trump only has about 1 percent of the African-American vote, a population also comprised of the majority of the protesters, which is absurdly low even for a Republican presidential candidate. Even bringing a former Detroit resident like Carson couldn’t help Trump’s case for his Saturday speech.
After the event, Carson, Trump, and Trump campaign members visited Carson’s boyhood home in Detroit. Carson showed Trump the outside of the house and they briefly spoke with the current owner, Felicia Reese, during the visit.
Everything seemed normal until CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond commented on Trump’s visit to Carson’s home and asked the doctor, “What do you think he took away from today?”
In a completely classic Ben Carson move, the surgeon/politician looked like he had just remembered something, then exclaimed, “Oh my luggage. Um — hold on,” as he walked away from Diamond and the CNN film crew.
Carson returned about 30 seconds later to give vague statements. “He had an opportunity to speak with several people,” Carson said. He also offered that Trump had the chance to visit other Detroit locales other than Carson’s childhood home. Carson specifically mentioned taking Trump to see places that “are not prospering.”
Although this is a strange quirk for an interview, it’s not the first oddball thing Ben Carson has done. Since his presidential bid, the Detroit native has come under fire for spouting bizarre misinformation or simply saying whatever comes to his mind.
In October 2015, Carson told CNN he believed that gun control helped cause the holocaust in Germany. Carson elaborated that Jewish people could have fought back if the Nazis hadn’t taken their guns away during the oppressive regime.
However, since he joined the Trump campaign, Carson still seems off-kilter, but he has been the voice of reason in a few situations. Carson distanced himself from the name-calling between Trump and Hillary Clinton concerning the candidates trading insults throughout the campaign.
Carson also warned Trump about his infamous tweets. “Social media provides a great platform for discourse, but we must be careful with the messages we send out,” said Carson, a man who walked away from live television cameras without explanation.
Donald Trump will need Carson’s advice until election day, despite Trump’s numerous insults lobbed at the former neurosurgeon. Trump issued numerous jabs at Carson during the Republican primary debates and continued to ridicule Carson after the doctor had already dropped out of the race.
The Detroit visit is just another small humanizing attempt that the Trump camp hopes will win over black voters. Carson himself believes he has a strong presence in the black community and stands behind Trump’s “What do you have to lose?” approach to racial political understanding.
[Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]