By EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH
Endorsement from Carson may come at sacrifice to trust from supporters Former presidential candidate Ben Carson announced that he would be endorsing current candidate Donald Trump on Friday, March 11, a decision I believe has cost Carson the trust he established with his voters by supporting a candidate who, so far, has seemed to share little in common with Carson’s own moral beliefs.
According to Carson at a news conference, speaking at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, a private club owned by Trump, he and Trump have settled their previous differences and will move forward with a new understanding of one another.
“There are two different Donald Trumps,” Carson said during the conference, according to NBC News. “There’s the one you see on the stage and there’s the one who is very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. You can have a very good conversation with him. That’s the Donald Trump that you’re going to start seeing more and more of.”
Carson’s statement appears to be a pretty dramatic shift from what he has said about Trump before, saying even as recently as January that Trump was dishonest, particularly toward him, and that Trump used his malleable sense of truth to get ahead in the political game.
His decision to back Trump also seems surprising considering Trump had called Carson a pathological liar in November during his campaign in Iowa, comparing Carson’s alleged habit to child molestation.
It seems a little far-fetched that Trump and Carson would suddenly go from throwing words like “pathological liar” to glowing terms like “cerebral,” particularly as they have had to interact and learn more about one another for months. Rather than backing each other because they admire one another, I think it’s more likely they are both getting something out of their deal.
Carson is one of several Republican candidates who have endorsed Trump over the past few months. New Jersey governor and former candidate Chris Christie made headlines with his endorsement, which also, interestingly enough, took place at the Mar-a-Lago Carson has said that he might have chosen another candidate if their campaigns had been more successful, according to an interview with the Steve Malzberg show on March 14.
There has also been speculation that if Carson continues to support Trump, he might snag vice presidency, something Carson himself alluded to when asked during a campaign visit in Florida, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Though it’s not entirely clear or set in stone why Carson is backing Trump, Trump certainly needs Carson’s support. If Christie’s visibly distressed expression during the news conference is any indication, some Trump supporters have seemed a little ambivalent about their decision to back him.
Carson’s measured support of Trump could benefit Trump’s campaign, but might do more to hurt Carson’s own future campaign further down the road.
In the same interview with the Steve Malzberge, Carson discussed the violence that has taken place in Trump’s rallies, saying that people would have normally been hesitant to step forward or “meekly submitted,” but not during this campaign.
“I don’t think the country is in the mood for meekly submitting right now,” Carson said. Carson’s endorsement arguably seems like a submission, or more like a series of mental gymnastics to support Trump, who according to a study from Politico was fact-checked for each campaign for a week, and found that Trump exaggerated, mischaracterized and said false statements approximately every five minutes.
As Carson now appears to be playing Trump’s game, he might be sending disillusioned voters looking elsewhere.