Dr. Ben Carson is a widely-admired man and one of the nation's most accomplished neurosurgeons. He is terrible, however, at being a campaign surrogate for Donald Trump.
Since endorsing Trump in a speech in which he declared there were “two Donald Trumps” and insisted Trump was “actually” an intelligent person, Carson has done a series of appearances that have likely not done much to sway undecided Republicans.
In a March 14 appearance with Steve Malzberg on NewsMax, Carson offered an odd rationale for backing Trump.
“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,” Carson said.
Carson also used that line in a March 11 appearance with Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto.
“If Trump gets in and he's not a good president … you're only talking about four or eight years, so you have to put these things in perspective and be able to look at the big picture,” Carson said.
In another Fox News appearance, host Maria Bartiromo teased Carson about his comments.
“I'm a very pragmatic individual,” he responded.
“Yes, you are!” Bartiromo said.
In the NewsMax interview, Carson appeared to acknowledge that he would prefer to support another candidate, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), but he had to do what was “practical” by supporting Trump.
“Is there another scenario that I would have preferred? Yes. But that scenario isn't available,” Carson said.
“With one of the other candidates, you mean?” Malzberg asked.
“Yes,” Carson said.
Carson has said that Trump offered him a position in his administration, which may have factored into his decision to endorse the businessman.
Carson claimed in a Fox News appearance later that week that he was referring to himself when he said he would prefer “one of the other candidates.”
In an appearance on The View last week, the show's hosts reminded Carson that Trump had once compared him to a “child molester” and that the candidate had a fairly tenuous relationship with the truth. Carson's response?
“Tell me a politician who doesn't tell lies,” Carson said.
With surrogates like these, does Trump need enemies?