The Never-Ending Primary
Ben Carson to Endorse Donald Trump, Who Compared Him to a Child Molester
While The Donald savaged the doctor's life story, at least he didn't use dirty tricks like Ted Cruz did in Iowa. That's what explains the surprising endorsement.
The only person Ben Carson hates more than the man who once compared him to a child molester is Ted Cruz.
Donald Trump will receive Carson's endorsement on Friday morning at the billionaire's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, a former Carson staffer who has spoken to a senior Trump adviser told The Daily Beast. Trump confirmed it during Thursday night's Republican debate. The 9 a.m. event is timed to vacuum up news coverage away from Trump’s campaign manager's alleged assault of a female reporter and the charging of a white supporter sucker-punching a black protester.
Carson is clearly bitter that Cruz won the Iowa caucus thanks in part to his campaign passing around an erroneous story about the former neurosurgeon dropping out of the race. Trump immediately seized on that mishandling of information to paint Cruz as a dirty trickster whom he now calls “L-Y-E-N Ted." Therefore, in the world of political opportunism, the only thing that Carson could do to stay afloat in the 2016 primary was to take Trump’s side. After all, a person who promoted cancer-curing glyconutrients couldn’t stay away from a guy who collected urine samples to hawk natural supplements for that long.
Just like current hostage Chris Christie did in the same spot two weeks ago, Carson will have to explain to the nation why he’s backing a man who said the former neurosurgeon’s temperament was similar to that of a child molester a few months ago. He’ll have to tell people on national television why he’s willing to stand behind a man who once spent a sizeable portion of a 95-minute tirade mocking his life story and calling his supporters imbeciles. "How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?” Trump once said of Carson’s now-infamous story about supposedly stabbing a friend of his in his youth.
When Carson puts his hands together, gently touching his fingertips to each other, and faces the music, it may go something like this.
“There’s two Donald 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 essentially previewing his speech on Fox News radio on Thursday. “They’re not the same person. One’s very much and entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual.”
Former members of Carson’s campaign were surprised when they heard that he would be endorsing Trump so soon. Jason Osborne, an ex-member of the communications team, sent The Daily Beast a statement from Carson saying “I have been considering it and I am leaning in that direction and more information will be forthcoming soon.”
“You know what we know,” Osborne added.
Carson's most recent campaign manager, Ed Brookover, was not aware of the decision, a source formerly with the campaign told The Daily Beast. Also left in the dark was Barry Bennett, a former Carson campaign manager who now serves as a Trump adviser, the source added.
The only person who apparently knew about Carson's pending endorsement was Armstrong Williams, his so-called “business manager” who has privately orchestrated most of Carson’s moves.
“I suspect Ben would easily [have] waited, but it fit AW's agenda,” the source said. He suggested that Williams, who previously said that Trump was going to be the nominee, was trying to curry favor with the mogul’s campaign by having Carson join as soon as possible.
Williams allegedly only told Robert Dees, the former chairman of the campaign, who did not pass the information along to any other previous members of the organization. Williams did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.
As recently as two weeks ago, Carson said that Super Tuesday voters were not “quite that dense” to help ensure that Trump would be the nominee. Carson referred to voting for Trump as “a very very bad mistake.”
But as has been the case in the past, when Armstrong Williams wants things to be done his way, they are done his way.
Sources from the campaign said that a consideration of a Trump endorsement was in the works as of last Friday when Carson formally ended his campaign at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Now Carson can offer up the 700,000-person strong donor list his campaign has accrued in a long-term direct mail operation to a failed steak salesman with a bad spray-on tan.