Remember Ben Carson? You know, the guy who actually jumped ahead of wannabe fascist Donald Trump in the GOP Polls during the fall, only to fall precipitously after voters realized he knew even less about foreign policy than the Trumpster. Yeah, that guy. Well, apparently he is still pretending he’s running for President, even though it seems like he doesn’t really have anyone helping him out in that task.
Less than two weeks removed from his campaign manager and communications director calling it quits, Carson’s camp took yet another hit. On Sunday, almost every paid staffer for his Super-PAC in New Hampshire, The 2016 Committee, resigned so they could join the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has overtaken Carson as the non-Trump alternative for the anti-establishment set.
According to New Hampshire news station WMUR, the leader of the political action committee ditched the candidate because Carson had rarely appeared in the state and they just don’t think he can win.
“We hold Dr. Carson in the highest regard,” [Jerry] Sickles said. “This is a man we revere, but we think it is important that our party nominate a conservative and get behind a single conservative who can win, and we strongly believe that candidate is Ted Cruz.”
What really has to sting for Carson is that the PAC actually started as an initiative to get the good doctor to toss his hat in the ring this election season. Once Carson announced he was running, the group turned into a pro-Carson Super-PAC to help get the vote out for him in the state.
Then again, it is quite possible Carson doesn’t give a shit about his campaign crashing and burning. Some have hypothesized that Carson’s run for the White House is nothing more than a money-making scheme, from asking for campaign contributions to raising his profile to charge more for speeches and appearances. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo highlighted this after it was revealed that most of the money the campaign was spending was on direct-mail fundraising.
“If you remember the plot of Mel Brooks’ classic movie, The Producers, the idea was that the scammers set out to produce the worst possible play imaginable to be certain it would close after one night. Yet, they made it so bad it broke through the membrane of awful into the sublime. And they were screwed. Which brings us to the Ben Carson campaign. There is a lot of evidence, coming from a variety of angles, that Carson for President is actually a direct mail scam. Or at least that it started that way.
Ed Kilgore looked at some of the details here. David Graham has more here at The Atlantic. Carson’s raising a lot of money from small donors – the usual marks. And at least until recently he’s shown very little inclination to invest in a field operation or really any of the things campaign raise money to do.
In any case, as I said, whatever role Carson did or didn’t have with Mannatech, that’s a bit of a tell for me since, as I said, ‘supplements’ are an endemic part of the wingnut fleecing industry. And to be clear, I’m not saying that all vitamins and supplements are scams. But the ones that are scams know that conservative direct mail and digital advertising is the best place to go to sell their nostrums.”
This was back in early November, when Carson was on the ascent and looking, for the moment, like a true rival to Trump. Two months later, it would appear that the sleepy-eyed sociopath’s brief flirtation with the top of the polls only served him more in terms of raising money off of rubes who bought into the silliness Carson was selling. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Carson raised $23 million, a more than $2 million increase from the previous quarter.
So, is nearly $45 million in six months enough grifting cash for Carson to finally end the charade and call it quits? Or will he continue for another month or two and see if he can squeeze some more blood from that stone?