Ben Carson was on the Today show this morning with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie to discuss his endorsement of Donald Trump. Without even bringing up the fact that Donald Trump once compared him to a child molester, Lauer and Guthrie tried to ask, in a politely puzzled way, why Carson could endorse a man who is clearly the antithesis of everything he stands for. Take a look:
Lauer: When you made your endorsement, you said that you prayed about this decision and you finally decided that you were philosophically and spiritually aligned with Donald Trump. And I have to say, Dr. Carson, after watching you over the last several months on the campaign trail, and seeing your demeanor and the way you handled yourself, that surprised me.
Carson: Well, I had an opportunity to actually spend some significant time talking with him in private and I actually found out that he is a person who loves America greatly, uh, thinks deeply, and does have uh, some openness to spiritual things, which is not the impression you would get from the persona on stage.
Lauer: You are so carefully spoken, though, you choose your words so carefully, and have been praised for the way you handle yourself, let me give you a little bit of Donald Trump in his own words. Listen.
[Clip plays of Trump being an obnoxious jerk and inciting violence at his rallies]
Lauer: Are you comfortable with that temperament in the oval office?
Carson: Uh, that, probably, is not, uh, the way that I would handle it, but recognize that the people of America are at a different place where I’m at. They’re really more where Donald Trump is at, because they’re so frustrated.
The interview went on in this vein for several more minutes, but I think that was the key moment: Carson is basically surrendering his whole vision for America to Trump’s. He acknowledges that Trump is fundamentally different from he is, and he does not care. Essentially, he is endorsing Trump just because he lost an election to Trump. He doesn’t really try to even engage what’s being said, which is that Trump’s entire schtick is an embarrassment to the brand Carson spent months building.
Ah well, I’m sure he’ll be given the Christie treatment and allowed to “interview” Trump on CNN any day now.