As of two months ago, I was deciding between Ben Carson and Donald Trump. Ironically, it was the way that both of them handled the Ted Cruz campaign’s sharing of a CNN story during the Iowa caucus that flipped me to support him over either of them. What the campaign did was wrong, but Cruz handled it properly while Trump and Carson whined.
Since then, I’ve grown a severe distrust for Trump and have been disappointed by a series of revelations about Carson. The endorsement of Trump is the last straw. He isn’t the man I thought he was and this should be a clear indicator to anyone paying attention at all that Trump is buying endorsements, whether through cash or promises. In Carson’s case, it’s almost certainly cash. Here’s why:
Carson’s Golden List
Just over a month ago, I noted that some conservative pundits were pointing out the lunacy of Carson’s campaign strategy. He was fundraising to have money for more fundraising. Money would come into his campaign faster than any of his GOP rivals, then he’d turn around and invest that money into fundraising. He wasn’t doing an unorthodox strategy. He was building a list. It’s a golden list, the type that is worth literally tens of millions of dollars in future revenues and that could be leveraged for a large sum of money upfront with any national political campaign.
The buyer is Donald Trump. The cost will likely never be known because it will be rented by one of his companies rather than purchased or rented by the campaign. It’s not illegal to do so as long as the list isn’t used by the campaign directly or if the campaign rents use of the list from the company that buys it. There may be more exchanged, of course, which we’ll know if he’s tapped for VP (unlikely) or offered a cabinet position as Surgeon General (more likely).
As The Daily Beast points out, this was likely not Carson’s idea. In fact, the entire campaign strategy was probably never Carson’s idea. The likely mastermind for everything from running to building the list to making the endorsement is Armstrong Williams.
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) March 11, 2016
This isn’t a wild accusation. It’s almost certainly exactly what happened. If there are still doubts, let’s remember that Trump wasn’t exactly very nice to Carson and Carson hasn’t been very supportive of Trump.
The Personal Attacks
The media is spinning this as retribution against Cruz for Iowa. That’s completely ludicrous. If Cruz cost Carson a dozen votes it would be shocking. On the other hand, Carson was the frontrunner for a brief period of time before Trump went on his most vicious series of attacks against anyone other than recently against Cruz.
Trump compared Carson to a child molester.
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) March 3, 2016
Trump said that Carson was a liar, that his supporters were stupid, and took him from his frontrunner status to a campaign obscurity in a matter of two weeks. Carson says they buried the hatchet. This is news considering that the last statements by Carson about Trump were not very flattering.
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) March 11, 2016
Here’s the sad part. Many Americans will ignore the history and the facts about Carson’s magic list and buy into the idea that this endorsement is sincere. It proves that he was wrong. Voters, himself included, are actually “that dense.”