Ben Carson officially endorsed Republican frontrunner Donald Trump Friday morning in an appearance with Trump in Palm Beach, Fla.
“I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He is actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America,” he said. “There are two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who’s very cerebral.”
While introducing Carson, Trump said that having his support lends credence to what he’s trying to do.
“Everybody wanted his endorsement, and everybody loves him and truly, truly admires what he’s done,” he said.
Carson said that he never intended to get involved in the political process but heeded the call of the American people. He accused political “operatives” and parties of trying to thwart the will of the people.
“I want the political process to play out in the way that it should play out, and I think the Republican Party, particularly, would be very wise not to adopt a ‘Let’s stop this guy and let’s promote this guy’ policy,” he continued. “But rather start thinking about what are the things that are going to be helpful for America.”
Ben Carson listens before announcing he will endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Photo: Lynne Sladky/AP)
The retired neurosurgeon expressed concern about the fiscal cliff and said the country is destroying itself with hate, quoting Abraham Lincoln: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.“
“We’re failing to take a leadership position on the world stage,” he said.
Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist, is a deeply religious man who believes that God has guided some of his life’s most important decisions. When asked if a higher power inspired him to endorse Trump, the former doctor said that the power of prayer and messages from his acquaintances’ dreams played a role.
“I prayed about it a lot. I got a lot of indications — people calling me that I hadn’t talked to in a long time saying, ‘I had this dream about you and Donald Trump.’”
Carson said he and Trump did not cut a deal regarding a position from him in a possible Trump administration. But they planned to discuss policies that would “make America great again,” he said.
The endorsement may come as a surprise to many of Carson’s supporters, since the mild-mannered, deeply religious Carson is a vivid contrast to Trump in terms of style and values.
But a Carson adviser told Yahoo News Thursday that the retired neurosurgeon — who for a short time last fall led the field of Republican presidential candidates — sees Trump as the only candidate remaining who is not part of what he often called “the political class.”
Carson believes that the political establishment has ruined the country, and is throwing his support to Trump because the businessman and reality TV personality is best able to disrupt the status quo.
Carson was also angered by some of the tactics employed by Sen. Ted Cruz. For example, a number of Cruz’s supporters tried to undermine Carson on the night of the Iowa caucuses Feb. 1 by telling voters that Carson was pulling out of the race.
Michael Walsh contributed to this report.
(Cover tile photo: Lynne Sladky/AP)