early and awkward

Ben Carson Admits He’s Not the Biggest Donald Trump Fan, But ‘We’re Only Looking at 4 Years’

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Holds Florida Press Conference
He looked at the fruit salad of Trump’s life and made a tough choice. Photo: Andrew Harrer/2016 Bloomberg Finance LP

Here’s one potential explanation for Donald Trump’s need to keep humiliating Chris Christie: He’s taking out his anger on the one surrogate he can control. Ironically, while New Jersey’s tough-guy governor seems perfectly willing to take whatever insults Trump dishes out, the notoriously mild-mannered Dr. Ben Carson won’t even pretend that Trump has his wholehearted endorsement.

In a phone interview with Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg that aired Monday night, Carson said Trump supporters are having their First Amendment rights suppressed by leftist protesters, and need to “fight back.” That’s why Carson is supporting the man who once compared him to a child molester. “The reason that I’m choosing Trump is that I’m a big-picture guy and I recognize that he’s bringing in a lot of people who were not interested in coming out before,” Carson explained.

While other Republicans are talking about ways to “thwart the will of the people” with a contested convention, Carson believes that will only lead to the party losing control of the presidency, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. “The way I look at it, even if Donald Trump turns out not to be such a great president, which I don’t think is the case, I think he’s going to surround himself with really good people, but even if he didn’t, we’re only looking at four years as opposed to multiple generations and perhaps the loss of the American dream forever.”

Carson confirmed that he’ll be one of those “really good people,” though he would only say that he’ll be working for the Trump administration in some kind of advisory capacity. But personal ambition isn’t the only reason he’s on Team Trump; he selected the front-runner because he’s practical. “I didn’t see a path for Kasich, who I like, or for Rubio, who I like,” Carson explained. “As far as Cruz is concerned, I don’t think he’s going to be able to draw independents and Democrats unless he has some kind of miraculous change … Is there another scenario that I would have preferred? Yes, but that scenario isn’t available.”

Ultimately, Carson was able to get past Trump’s personal insults because he understands he’s a “showman” who was engaging in “the politics of personal destruction.” But aside from all the less-than-admirable qualities he described, Carson does think Trump’s a good guy — or at least a guy who’ll live by what’s written on his hat. “I do believe, and certainly in my discussions with Donald Trump, he does love America and he does want to be successful,” he said.

Carson Admits He’s Not the Biggest Trump Fan