Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson today endorsed businessman Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president. Carson’s endorsement comes a week after he ended his own presidential bid.
The endorsement is somewhat of a surprise given some of the less-than-respectful things Trump said about Carson during the campaign — which has some political observers speculating Carson would either make no endorsement at all. But the pro-life doctor said he and Trump have “buried the hatchet.”
“Some people have said, ‘well, why would you get behind a man like Donald Trump?'” Carson told reporters alongside Trump. “I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He is 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’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully, 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,” Carson said.
Carson added, “We buried the hatchet.”
“Some people said, but, well, you know, he said terrible things about you. How could you support him? First of all, we buried the hatchet,” Carson said. “That was political stuff. And that happens in American politics. The politics of personal destruction, all that, it’s not something that I particularly believe in or anything that I get involved in. But I do recognize it is a part of the process. We move on, because it’s not about me, it’s not about Mr. Trump. It’s about America. and this is what we have to be thinking about.”
The endorsement, made in Florida, comes just days after that state will hold its primary election. Polls there show a tight race between Trump and pro-life Senator Marco Rubio.
Trump’s has taken pro-life positions on abortion but has concerned pro-life voters with his praise for Planned Parenthood. Earlier this month, Trump praised the nation’s biggest abortion conglomerate. Trump dismissed the notion he is not a true conservative because he supports Planned Parenthood, insisting he is “just doing what’s right.”
“Look, Planned Parenthood has done very good work for many, many — for millions of women,” Trump said in a news conference Tuesday night. “And I’ll say it, and I know a lot of the so-called conservatives, they say that’s really … cause I’m a conservative, but I’m a common-sense conservative.”
Trump said he would not fund Planned Parenthood “as long as you have the abortion going on,” but noted the “millions of people — and I’ve had thousands of letters from women — that have been helped.”
“And this wasn’t a set-up. This was women writing letters. But I’m going to be really good for women, I’m going to be good for women’s health issues, it’s very important to me. Very important to me,” he said.
In recent months, Trump has shifted from taking a consistently pro-life stance on abortion and opposing Planned Parenthood funding to opposing funding but praising the nation’s biggest abortion company.
Like some pro-life voters, Susan B, Anthony List president Marjorie Danenfelser has had enough. She’s tired of listening to Donald Trump, who had ostensibly run a reliably pro-life campaign up until recently, praise the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
“Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that, as President, he will defund Planned Parenthood so long as they continue to do abortions. We applaud him for this stand, but ask that he reconsider his repeated assertion that the group does ‘wonderful things’ beyond abortion. According to the group’s own annual reports, this could not be further from the truth. Planned Parenthood is a profit–driven, abortion-centered business – and a bad investment for taxpayers,” she said.
Dannenfelser continued: “A new Center for Medical Progress video released this week showed once again that Planned Parenthood’s highest executives are willing to engage in the harvest and sale of the body parts of aborted children. We ask Mr. Trump to watch this video series and urgently take off the rose-colored glasses he wears when talking about Planned Parenthood. Mr. Trump’s silence on this horror at the core of Planned Parenthood needs to end.”