During the campaign trail, Donald Trump made a lot of foes due to his aggressive and demeaning rhetoric. As the total number of Republican presidential nominees continued to wind down, there were two “outsiders” who were heavily competing for the nomination: businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
While neither had any relevant political experience, nor had they served in the military, both were propagating their mission to deviate the party from the status quo and criticizing the establishment. While Trump was surprisingly receiving a considerable amount of groundswell despite bold claims that seemed outrageous, Carson was right in the hunt as well.
Carson was one of the most well-respected candidates who ran for president. His mild demeanor spoke loudly of presidential temperance and being an example to others.
Admittedly, Carson was reluctant to run for president. However, the pivotal point was after a 2013 prayer breakfast, and he shared the reason why this shifted his decision during an interview with Time.
“It certainly was not my intention to go into the political field. But after the prayer breakfast in 2013, there were so many people clamoring for me to do it. And I kind of ignored it and figured it would all go away. But it didn’t. And it just kept building and building, and I began to listen to people and listen to their concerns. Particularly elderly people who told me that they had given up on America and they were just waiting to die.
“I heard that so many times. And then so many younger people who were terrified for what was going to happen with their children and grandchildren. And then I was hearing from so many people that they just didn’t feel that politics as usual was going to solve the problem. So having had a career as a problem solver, I said, Lord you know I don’t want to do this, but if you open the doors I’ll do it.”
The momentum of his campaign ascended him up the ladder, even claiming the lead at a point of time over Donald Trump. In the state of Iowa, he once had a 14-point lead, as well as a national lead overall. However, his lack of experience with foreign policy led to his decline in the polls.
Donald Trump continued to emphasize how Carson was not the ideal candidate for president. He even attacked Carson’s profession, in which he was highly acclaimed, in an interview with CNN (h/t Business Insider).
“He was a doctor, perhaps an OK doctor, by the way. You should check that out too. We’re not talking about a great [doctor]. He was an OK doctor.”
Trump also attacked his deeply-devoted faith.
“I don’t know about Ben Carson’s faith. And all of a sudden he becomes this great religious figure? I don’t think he’s a great religious figure. And I saw him yesterday quoting something — and he was quoting on humility — and he looked like he had just memorized it two minutes before he made the quote. So don’t tell me about Ben Carson.
“Ben Carson, you’re talking about his faith?” Go back and look at his past. Go back and look at his views on abortion and see where he stands. You talk about abortion — I mean, go back and look at his views on abortion.”
It was these remarks and more from Trump that made Carson supporters shockingly surprised when he dropped out of the campaign and eventually chose Trump as the candidate who earned his endorsement.
As of just a few weeks ago, Carson was not in favor of assuming a position in the Trump Cabinet.
He told Washington Post, “The way I’m leaning is to work from the outside and not from the inside. I want to have the freedom to work on many issues and not be pigeonholed into one particular area.”
However, the president-elect was able to convince Carson that he was the best candidate for the secretary of housing and urban development, and he has accepted.
Trump showed his excitement of the acquisition of Carson in a recent statement, per CNN.
“I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.”
While this is a vast difference in what Trump was spouting during the presidential campaign, Carson is considered one of Trump’s most high-profile African-American supporters, and his experience in the medical field can also come in handy in his new position.
[Featured Image by Morry Gash/AP Images]