Ben Carson, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon who ended his own presidential bid last week, endorsed Donald J. Trump at a news conference on Friday at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s private club, calling him “actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”
The announcement came in the club’s white-and-gold ballroom the morning after Thursday night’s rather subdued Republican debate, where Mr. Trump announced on the debate stage that he had landed Mr. Carson’s support.
During the campaign, especially when Mr. Carson was experiencing a brief boomlet in the polls, the Manhattan businessman clashed with the doctor-turned-presidential-candidate, comparing him to a child molester, questioning his religion, and calling him “super low energy” — a favorite Trump insult.
Asked about Mr. Trump’s past criticism of him, Mr. Carson said, “We buried the hatchet — that was political stuff.” “We move on,” he said.
But Mr. Trump also publicly defended Mr. Carson after the campaign of Senator Ted Cruz, Mr. Trump’s chief rival, spread false information that Mr. Carson was dropping out of the race before Iowa caucuses. The support of Mr. Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist who is popular with evangelical voters, could help Mr. Trump woo evangelicals, who remain an important part of the Republican base. But Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said that Mr. Trump himself has done well with evangelicals so far on his own. Read more