Ben Carson Endorses Donald Trump: ‘We’ve Buried the Hatchet’

(ABC News) — Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson formally endorsed Donald Trump today at the Mar-A-Largo club in Palm Beach, Florida, calling the GOP front-runner “a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”

Trump introduced Carson as a “special man” and said “having his support really just adds total credence” to what he’s trying to accomplish.

“He’s become a friend, and I really appreciate the endorsement,” Trump said later.

The Republican front-runner praised Carson as the “one person that just kept sneaking up” on him in the polls.

“I said, ‘Whoa, whoa. What’s this happening here? I don’t like this,’” Trump said of Carson’s climbing poll numbers at one point in Carson’s campaign very early in the race.

Carson said of the two fighting, which got very ugly when Carson was still a contender in the Republican primary race: “We buried the hatchet.”

“It is politics. It’s tough stuff,” Trump said, concurring with Carson that their fighting is in the past.

“Donald Trump talks a lot about making America great, but it’s not just talk. He means it,” said Carson, who confirmed that he would be joining Trump on the campaign trail. “I’m going to be helping him.”

Trump said Carson would help him with education and healthcare and hinted that Carson would potentially have a place in a Trump administration.

“Ben’s going to have a big, big part,” Trump said. “Maybe Ben doesn’t know this yet, but Ben’s going to have a big part. We want to keep that kind of talent.”

Carson also gave an interesting analysis of the man he’s endorsing — noting that there are “two Donald Trumps.”

“There are two different Donald Trumps,” Carson said. “There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there, you can have a very good conversation with him, and that’s the Donald Trump that you’re going to start seeing more and more of right now.”

Trump agreed: “There are probably two Donald trumps. The public version and people see that and I don’t know what they see exactly but it seems to have worked over my lifetime but probably different I think than the personal Donald Trump. Ben said it very well today. Perhaps there are two Donald trumps, but — well, you know, I’m somebody that is a thinker. I’m a big thinker.”

The two stood side-by-side at the same place where New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Trump earlier this month.

While answering questions, Trump also admitted he wasn’t aware of the debate at Salt Lake City on March 21 that the Republican National Committee is pushing for, but is still up in the air.

“I didn’t know we had a next debate. I thought it was last night,” Trump said. “Can I be honest? It’s time to end the debates.”

Trump also argued “we’ve had enough debates,” and that he doesn’t think “any of the candidates want them at this point. The networks very much want them.”

Categories: Politics