Ben Carson’s Camp Plots Vice Presidential Bid
In sunny Palm Beach, Florida, the remaining brain trust of Carson's failed presidential bid will try to find a way to keep his political aspirations afloat.
Ben Carson’s campaign for president may be over. But his campaign for vice president is just beginning.
Just a week after the former neurosurgeon endorsed Donald Trump, The Daily Beast has learned that members of Carson’s brain trust have set up a meeting in Palm Beach, where Carson has a plush mansion, on March 29 to discuss plans for the future.
This Avengers-like crew includes Ben Carson Jr., Robert Dees (who joined the campaign as chairman before Carson dropped out), Ed Brookover (the most recent campaign manager), treasurer Logan Delaney and former senior adviser Mike Murray.
The agenda, according to multiple sources familiar with the plan, will include a discussion of what to do with the massive 700,000-person mailing list they’ve accrued, the PAC connected with the campaign (which has already been pushing for Carson as a potential vice presidential pick), and possibly establishing a formalized speaking program for the doctor.
But the main focus of the meeting, sources familiar with the gathering told The Daily Beast, will be to put Carson in the best position to be offered the vice presidential spot by Trump should the mogul become the nominee.
Delaney and Dees did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast. Shermichael Singleton, who is now handling media requests alongside longtime Carson ally Armstrong Williams, refused to answer any question as well. “Thank you for the email, but we’re not interested,” he simply responded.
Brookover joined the Trump campaign already, as announced in a press release from the campaign last Friday. The release said that he would be heading up a "Delegate Selection Team."
When asked for comment about the meeting, Brookover told The Daily Beast
“I need to direct all inquires to Hope at Mr. Trump's campaign,” referencing Hope Hicks who is a spokesperson for the mogul’s camp.
Hicks did not respond to a request for comment either.
This further melding between the Carson and Trump campaigns comes after former Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett joined Trump’s camp as an adviser earlier this year.
The news of this meeting arrives after Carson has made intimations that he was promised some sort of position in a potential Trump administration. However, it is unclear if the meeting itself will include any members of the current Trump campaign.
But no one, Carson included, has really been coy about the fact that he’s willing and able to ride this out to the end with the oompa loompa-hued frontrunner at his side.
“I’ve told Mr. Trump that if it was really going to make a big difference I’d be willing to,” Carson said of the vice president question last week.
After he ended his campaign at the Conservative Political Action Conference two weeks ago, Carson also announced that he would be heading up the group My Faith Votes, which intends to mobilize Christian voters in the general election. According to the group’s website, Carson is their “National Honorary Chairman.”
Overall, as the meeting nears, Carson has been more forgiving of Trump’s past malfeasance against him, even dismissing the fact that the real estate mogul compared his temperament to that of a child molester during the campaign.
“You have to admit, to some degree, it did work,” Carson said in a recent interview with Yahoo. “A lot of people believed him.”
—With additional reporting from Betsy Woodruff