Will Ben Carson’s Endorsement of Trump Help Him Distance From a Gaining Ted Cruz?
The current primary season has featured repeated insults going close to, if not up to the point of defamation and slander with billionaire Donald Trump accusing retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson of having a “pathological temper” and calling his supporters “stupid,” but the results of more than two dozen state caucuses and primaries have seen Trump emerge as the frontrunner and Dr. Carson forced to suspend his campaign after failing to garner sufficient votes to wage a competitive battle for the nomination.
Now, one week after leaving the campaign trail, Carson has endorsed the flamboyant and controversial Trump, and is asking his backers to do the same.
Trump, the frontrunner whose candidacy has been dismissed by pundits and the media as a self-serving, ego-driven publicity stunt, clearly basked in the Carson endorsement, saying, “Dr. Ben Carson was respected by everybody – everybody wanted his endorsement.”
Carson, who was raised by a single mother in Detroit becoming a renowned pediatric surgeon pioneering procedures for the successful separation of co-joined twins, gained attention after criticizing President Obama’s health care law at a National Prayer Breakfast where the president was in attendance, has been praised for running a civil campaign.
Trump attributed his attacks to Carson’s strong polling in the fall. “I said to myself, this guy is unbelievable. So I started going after him. I was really impressed with the way he fought back ... with silence and strength.”
Carson said he recognized Trump’s words as “political stuff that happens in American politics,” adding that the two had “buried the hatchet,” before rating Trump as “cerebral. He is actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”
The endorsement comes just days before five states vote in primaries on “Super Tuesday 2.0,” including winner-take-all Ohio and Florida, and at a time when Texas senator Ted Cruz is moving up in the polls.
Cruz has significant support from evangelical Christians, and Carson’s endorsement would arguably have brought the Texas senator more voters from that group.
Dr. Carson refuted suggestions that his endorsement of Trump, rather than Cruz, was based on bitterness after the Cruz campaign was caught spreading false reports about Carson withdrawing from the campaign on the day of the Iowa caucuses. “I’ve completely forgiven him. That's the duty one has as a Christian.”