Ben Carson, the calm, collected emissary serving like a divorce lawyer between the alienated parents that are Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, thought the meeting between the two went well Thursday despite the fact that there was no outright endorsement.
“I am very pleased that they were able to get together and spend a little time getting together to get to know each other,” Carson said in a phone interview with The Daily Beast. “How can you endorse someone if you don’t know them?”
The former neurosurgeon spoke with Ryan by phone on Tuesday night, after they lobbied for an in-person meeting. Carson emphasized it was only the beginning of cultivating this relationship going forward—both Ryan and Trump have work to do to unite the party. “My hope and expectation would be that Mr. Trump would begin to spend substantial time not only with the speaker and the leader of the House but with Mitch McConnell,” Carson said.
With the focus on unity, no one is being left out of the equation. Even Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose relationship with both Carson and Trump went sour in the primaries. But the man who marketed himself as a healer hopes those wounds will mend.
“I would certainly expect that to happen over the course of time,” Carson said of a Cruz endorsement. “Recognize that there are a lot of raw wounds. Not only Sen. Cruz, but a whole host of party regulars will come to recognize the importance of unity.”
Previously, Trump suggested that Cruz’s father played a role in the assassination of JFK, called his wife ugly, and suggested he was not eligible to run for office.
Carson, who had recently stepped away from the vice presidential vetting team, according to Williams, would not elaborate on the process any further.
“Right now, very serious vetting is going on,” Carson said of the process. “We want to be very certain that there are no surprises and that this is an individual [in] whom Mr. Trump can place his trust.”