Mar. 11, 2016 10:01am Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Dr. Ben Carson made the case Friday morning that there are “two different Donald Trumps” and that it’s the more intelligent version of the GOP presidential front-runner he is endorsing.
“I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He’s actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America,” Carson said during a press conference at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. “There are actually two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully.”
“And that’s the Donald Trump that you’re going to start seeing more and more of right now,” Carson continued.
Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson shakes hands with Republican front-runner Donald Trump after announcing he will endorse Trump during a news conference at the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, Friday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
“I think the Republican Party would be very wise not to adopt a ‘let’s stop this guy and promote this guy’ policy but rather start thinking about what are the things that are going to be helpful for America,” he said.
Trump seemed to grapple with the idea of there being two versions of himself as he initially told reporters that he “probably [does] agree” with Carson’s assessment before he later said “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps” while answering a different reporter’s question.
“The public version, it seems to have worked over my lifetimes, probably different than a personal Donald Trump,” he said. “Perhaps there are two Donald Trumps. I’m somebody who is a thinker, I’m a big thinker.”
On the attacks between the two candidates while Carson was still campaigning to be the GOP nominee, the retired neurosurgeon contended that he and Trump “buried the hatchet.”
“That was political stuff. That happens in American politics, the politics of personal destruction,” Carson said. “All that is not something I particularly believe in or I get involved in, but I’d recognize it is part of the process, but we move on because it’s not about me, it’s not about Mr. Trump, it’s about America.”
“It really was all about the people, and it continues to be all about the people,” Carson continued.
Trump told reporters at the presser that he had not discussed with Carson a position for him in a potential Trump administration. He also complimented the doctor as the “one person who kept sneaking up on” him in the polls.
“I couldn’t lose him,” Trump said. “He fought back with silence and strength.”
Carson is the second former Republican presidential candidate who has thrown his weight behind Trump — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Trump in February.
Trump and Carson’s staff announced his endorsement of the billionaire Thursday night.