Posted at 9:16 a.m. today
Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who dropped his bid for the Republican presidential nomination last week, endorsed front-runner Donald Trump on Friday morning, saying the real estate mogul “cares deeply about America.”
“I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years,” Carson said in the announcement at Trump’s Mara-A-Lago club in Florida. “He’s actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America. There are actually two Donald Trump — the one you see on the stage, and the one who’s off the stage.”
Carson acknowledged the criticism that Trump leveled at him on the campaign trail, but said, “We buried the hatchet. That was political stuff. That happens in politics, the politics of personal destruction.
“It’s not about me. It’s not about Mr. Trump it’s about America. I have found talking with him that there’s alot more alignment, philosophically and spiritual.”
Trump said he expected to Carson to play a policy role and emphasized Carson’s interest in education issues. “Ben’s going to have a big part. We want to keep that sort of talent,” he said.
The front-runner also acknowledged the animosity between the two men on the campaign trail. “He’s the one person, I couldn’t lose him, I couldn’t shake him,” Trump said. “I fought back and I hit him hard. It’s politics.”
Carson urged the Republican establishment to let the political process play out. “What I have been seeing recently is political operatives and parties once again trying to assert themselves and thwart the will of the people,” he said. “I want the voice of the people to be heard.”
Carson’s endorsement marks the second time a failed Republican candidate has backed Trump. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed the front-runner last month.