Dr. Ben Carson, the Seventh-day Adventist neurosurgeon who made a bid for the White House, has today endorsed real estate mogul Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States.
Carson recently ended his own campaign for the Republican nomination after disappointing results on “Super Tuesday,” the March 1st primaries that saw New York billionaire Trump win 7 states, Texas senator Ted Cruz win three states, and Florida senator Marco Rubio win 1 state, but in which Carson was shut out.
Dr. Carson’s inspiring biography—he was raised in Detroit by an illiterate single mother who worked as a domestic, but he graduated from Yale, the University of Michigan medical school, and became the world’s leading pediatric neurosurgeon—led to an unlikely, but initially successful presidential campaign.
Dr. Carson announced his arrival on the political scene at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, when he blasted Obamacare, with President Obama sitting, scowling, ten feet away. (Carson reports that his tax returns have been audited every year since that event.) John Philip Souza IV, great-grandson of the legendary band director and “march king,” formed a super-PAC and raised $3 million to convince Carson to run for president.
After the first few Republican primary debates, Dr. Carson’s national poll numbers were almost as high as Trump’s--an NBC/WSJ poll released Nov. 2nd had Carson ahead of Trump--and Carson was clearly ahead in several Iowa state polls. But his poll numbers began fading before the first votes were cast, and he never came close to winning a primary or caucus (although he still finished higher in Iowa than Jeb Bush and several other candidates). After the disappointing Super Tuesday results, Carson announced that he did "not see a political path forward" and would not attend the next Republican debate. On March 4, he formally suspended his campaign, and announced he would be the new national chairman of “My Faith Votes,” a group that encourages Christians to vote.
At a press conference today, Dr. Carson explained his endorsement of the New York billionaire:
Some people have said, why would you get behind a man like Donald Trump. I’ll tell you why. First of all, I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He’s actually a very intelligent man, who cares deeply about America. There are two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who is very cerebral, who 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 right now. . . . Donald Trump talks a lot about making America great, but it’s not just talk, he means it.
Dr. Carson has done a great deal of philanthropy in the area of education. In 1994, he and his wife, Candy, started the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards $1,000 scholarships to promising students to apply toward college expenses. A Detroit high school of science and medicine, and a Seventh-day Adventist medical school in Nigeria have both been named after Dr. Carson.
Donald Trump has been impressed by Dr. Carson’s interest in and knowledge of education. At Thursday Night’s Republican primary debate, he indicated that Carson would be a trusted advisor on the topic of education:
I was with Dr. Ben Carson today, who is endorsing me tomorrow morning. We were talking; we spoke for over an hour on education, and he has such a great handle on it. He wants competitive schools. He wants a lot of different things that are terrific, including charter schools, by the way, that the unions are fighting like crazy. But charter schools work and they work very well. So there are a lot of things, but I’m going to have [Dr. Ben Carson] very much involved in education, something that really is an expertise of his.