One wonders if Donald Trump keeps Ben Carson around for the same reason as Chris Christie — just to flaunt his trophy heads from the GOP primary. Because it certainly can’t be for Carson’s work as a campaign surrogate.
Since Carson endorsed Trump shortly after the retired neurosurgeon ended his Republican presidential campaign, he’s been hitting the trail for the real estate mogul, doing talk shows and rallies, that is, whenever he’s not chasing after his luggage. And more times than not, he’s proven himself to pretty much the worst surrogate a presidential candidate can ask for. Whether it’s Carson saying Melania Trump’s plagiarism showed we all share the same values, asking the Khan family to apologize to Trump (but not sure why) or accusing CNN hosts of committing crimes, the good doctor keeps giving late-night talk show hosts fodder for their monologues.
And Carson kept the streak alive on Tuesday during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. While discussing Trump’s current immigration policy, which apparently changes every hour, Tapper noted that the GOP nominee’s promise to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants “is disappearing into the ether.” The CNN host wanted to know how this position differs from Jeb Bush’s or Marco Rubio’s, who were both heavily criticized by Trump for being soft on immigration.
Carson’s answer was classic Carson:
“Well, it’s relatively irrelevant at this point, because it is what it is. He is the nominee and has to come up with rational and workable plans, has to work with various advisers and experts in terms of the best way to do this, and it needs to be done in a fair and compassionate way that is consistent with the way we in America do things.”
Wait, what?!?! So, Mr. Tell It Like It Is was just bullshitting during the primaries? What he said to rally the alt-right and scared white evangelicals to his side — that he’d get rid of all the brown people — wasn’t true? Tapper took umbrage with that, saying, “With all due respect, sir, I don’t think promises made to voters are irrelevant.”
Then Carson, bless his heart, pretended he didn’t say the very thing he just said:
“Well, I didn’t say that they were irrelevant. But bear in mind, what you talk about during a campaign and what actually happens, as you know in all administrations, are different. You get different information, you learn things along the way, and you make adjustments along the way. Perhaps there were others who had already learned those things. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it does get learned and it does get integrated into the process of decision making.”
So, Ben didn’t say they were irrelevant (he did), just that Trump learned some things, and that now he is merely integrating that into the process? OK, whatever. Which is pretty much how Tapper treated him on the subject.
Oh, and at the end of the interview, Carson agreed that Donald Trump should apologize for being a birther if he wants to truly show African-Americans he’s serious about reaching out to them. All the while, Trump is telling anyone that asks that “he doesn’t talk about it anymore,” including his milkshake buddy Bill O’Reilly.
All I know is this — Ben, you keep doing you.