Ben Carson backs Trump, says combative billionaire has 'cerebral' side

By Robert Costa, Brian Murphy/Washington Post

MIAMI - Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson threw his support behind Donald Trump on Friday, saying the billionaire front-runner has two sides: the combative campaign persona and a "very cerebral" approach in private.

The endorsement by Carson, who last week suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, is perhaps the most high-profile nod for Trump since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie backed his former rival.

At a news conference at a Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago luxury club in Florida, Carson said there are "two Donald Trumps" - including a measured side of someone who "considers things carefully."

The remarks appeared aimed at moderating Trump's image, which has been defined by bluster, belligerence and belittling comments against opponents, including Carson. Trump said the two have "buried the hatchet."

Carson, however, acknowledged that the country is greatly divided and "hating each other" - rifts that have been amplified by the current presidential race.

He also issued an apparent message to GOP establishment leaders who have raised deep concerns about Trump's possible push toward the nomination.

Carson warned that it is "extremely dangerous" if political parties seek to "thwart the will of the people" and must let the "voice of the people be heard."

Trump said Carson will a "big, big part" in the campaign, but gave no specifics on possible roles.

During a Republican presidential debate aired on CNN on Thursday night, Trump confirmed Carson's backing. He said they discussed Carson's ideas on education and other topics earlier in the day.

"We spoke for over an hour on education. And he has such a great handle on it," Trump said. "I'm going to have Ben very involved with education, something that's an expertise of his."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHpaGCDwkkA

 

The support of Carson, a famed retired neurosurgeon and author, will likely give Trump a boost with GOP base voters and evangelicals, who embraced Carson's campaign in its early days and fueled his brief rise to the top of Republican primary polls.

Carson's decision may surprise some of his backers since Trump made blistering critiques over the past year of stories from Carson's past. But according to people close to him, Carson has gradually come to see Trump as the GOP's best chance of winning a general election and turning out droves of disengaged voters.

Appearing Thursday on Fox News Radio, Carson spoke highly of Trump.

"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," he said. "They're not the same person. One's very much an entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual."

Carson halted his campaign this month, telling supporters he saw "no path forward" for his bid. He then officially dropped out of the race in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Ever since, Carson has been based at his winter home in West Palm Beach, not far from Mar-a-Lago, which made Thursday's quiet get-together convenient for the former candidate.

Data curated by InsideGov


Story continues after video

Related content:

Color edit toon Hillary & Bernie holdouts
1
/94
Hide Caption
Dave Granlund on Bernie holdouts
X 1/94
Color edit toon Hillary & Bernie holdouts
Color edit toon Trump & believe me
Color edit toon Bill O'Reilly and Slaves
Beeler Hillary herd
Color edit toon DNC and Russia hacking
Granlund DNC
BeelerDNC
Beeler Lincoln
Color edit toon Cruz snubs Trump
Color edit toon Trump Running mate
Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 4.24.57 PM
Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 4.24.48 PM
Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 4.24.35 PM
Beeler Melania
Landgren Trump butterflies
COLOR edit toon Mrs Trump & plagiarism
Beeler Pence
Beeler Cleveland
Color edit toon Justice Ginsburg vs Trump 2016
Beeler Ginsburg
Color edit toon Trump and VP choice
Dave Granlund on Bernie's endorsement
Nate Beeler on Trump's co-pilot
Dave Granlund cartoon on America
Dave Granlund cartoon on Hillary & FBI Report
Nate Beeler on Hillary and Benghazi
Dave Granlund on Trump's speed bumps
Dave Granlund on the GOP Benghazi report
Beeler Obama immigration
Beeler Brexit Trump
Color edit toon UK exiting EU
Color Edit toon Gun control and sit-in
Beeler Obamacare
Beeler Gun control
Color edit toon Trump and low funds
Color edit toon Gun Lobby and Congress
Color edit toon Rubio reconsidering
Color edit toon McCain blaming Obama
Color edit toon Trump & Circus
Nate Beeler cartoon on Trump's assault weapon
Color edit toon Lone wolf terrorist
160610beelertoon_c copy
160609beelertoon_c copy
Color edit toon Hillary and glass ceiling
beeler trump justice
Color edit toon Bernie 2016 fights on
Beeler Trump Ryan
Color edit toon Ryan for Trump
Beeler Trump
Color edit toon Trump & CA water fix
Beeler Hillary email evasions
Color edit toon Trump & GOP unity
Color edit toon Bernie and red meat
Color edit toon VA Hospitals & Disney
Color edit toon Trump 2016 RINO
Beeler VA secretary McDonald
Beeler Trump amoeba
Beeler Obama war
Bill Clinton HOPE
Don Landgren Jimmy Kimmel
Beeler Trump endorse
Beeler Hillary email
Granlund cartoon Trump & Bernie outsiders
Granlund Getting behind Trump2016
Beeler Trump bathroom
Beeler cartoon: Obama and Media
Granlund toon: Bernie and fossils
Trump unites GOP
Ryan and Trump
Trump runs over GOP
Women and the draft
Hillary & coal miners
Cruz drops out
Bin Laden gone 5 yrs
Trump stamp
Trump card
Feel the burn
Trump sweeping
Cruz & Kasich team up
Cruz & Fiorina 2016
Big government slaveowners
GOP 2016 in pieces
Tubman on the 20
Russian jet flybys
Cruz strategist
Kasich and victim blaming
Ted Cruz's plan
Bernie & Hillary turf
Trump's Zika plan
VA Unknown soldier
Trump crooked system
Contested convention
Black hole Trump
Ryan GOP 2016 NO
Dave Granlund cartoon on America
Dave Granlund on the Brexit
Dave Granlund on Trump sweeping
Dave Granlund on the Cruz-Kasich plan
Dave Granlund on Cruz-Fiorina
Nate Beeler on the government
Landgren cartoon: Tubman on the 20
Granlund cartoon: Russian jet flybys
Granlund cartoon: Cruz strategist
Beeler cartoon: Kasich and victim blaming
Beeler cartoon: Cruz plan