Ben Carson confirms support for Donald Trump
Former candidate endorses billionaire for Republican nomination for White House
Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks after receiving the endorsement of former candidate Ben Carson at a campaign event in Palm Beach, Florida. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump won another high-profile endorsement on Friday when retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson became the second former Republican candidate to back him in the race for the White House.
“We buried the hatchet. That was political stuff,” Mr Carson said during a joint appearance with the billionaire businessman at a news conference at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club resort Palm Beach, Florida.
“I have found in talking with him, that there’s a lot more alignment, philosophically and spiritually, than I ever thought that there was,” added Mr Carson.
The latest endorsement for Mr Trump followed a CNN-hosted Republican debate in Miami on Thursday night. It gives the New York property magnate a boost just days before crucial nominating contests in the battle to be the party’s presidential candidate for the November 8th election.
Republican primaries in five states – including Florida and Ohio – on March 15th will be critical for Mr Trump to cement his lead, and to determine whether US Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio governor John Kasich will be able to continue with their increasingly long-shot candidacies.
Mr Trump told Friday’s news conference that Mr Carson had not asked for any formal role, but praised his former rival’s ideas on education. “Ben’s going to have a big, big part.”
Mr Carson, who had some support last year in opinion polls but whose campaign failed to garner backing in the early nominating contests, dropped out of the race last week.
On Friday Mr Carson said that Mr Trump is sincere in his talk about making America great again, and that he is on board to help him.
Another former candidate, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, announced last month he was backing Mr Trump.