Dr. Ben Carson confirmed Friday morning the most surprising turn of the 2016 presidential election cycle by endorsing the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump.
"Donald Trump talks a lot about making America great, but it's not just talk. He means it," he said. "I'm going to be helping him. Others are going to be helping him."
Carson said he's discovered "some incredibly smart people" around the country, but noted "none of us knows everything." He said it's important that America use those smart people to accomplish goals in the country.
"You're going to begin to see us once again ascend to a much higher pinnacle than we've ever achieved before, and that's where America should be," he added.
In introducing Carson to the stage at his Mar-A-Largo Club in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump said his former challenger was deeply respected and "truly admired." He said later he expects the retired neurosurgeon to play a role in education and health care policy for his campaign.
There wasn't any expectation or request to have a role in a potential Trump administration attached to the endorsement. The GOP front-runner said Carson called him Thursday and offered to help.
Carson said he simply wants to help the nation.
"Right now, we're in a process of going off the deep end; we're going off a cliff," he said. "We're fiscally irresponsible. We're hating each other. We're destroying each other. A house divided against itself cannot stand. We're failing to take a leadership position on the world stage."
He also addressed the white elephant in the room: "Why would you get behind a man like Donald Trump?"
Carson said he's come to know Donald Trump over the last couple of years, and said he's "actually a very intelligent man who cares very deeply for America." He also said he's discovered there are "two different Donald Trumps": the one you see on stage and the one who's "very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully," with whom he said he can have "a very good conversation."
"We buried the hatchet. That was political stuff. That happens in American politics," he said. "It's not something that I particularly believe in or anything I get involved in, but I do recognize that it is a part of the process. We move on. Because it's not about me, it's not about Mr. Trump. It's about America."
Earlier in his endorsement announcement, Carson said his motivation is to give a voice to the people. But he said efforts by political operatives and parties "trying to assert themselves and trying to thwart the will of the people" has put the nation in an "extraordinarily dangerous place."
"I want the political process to play out in the way that it should play out," he said. "I think the Republican Party, particularly, would be very wise not to adopt a 'let's stop this guy and let's promote this guy' policy, but rather start thinking about what are the things that will be helpful for America."
Asked about the role God played in the decision-making process, Carson said he prayed a lot about the matter and that he believes God spoke back, particularly through friends and colleagues. He also believes God gave him wisdom as it relates to the nation's safety.
"That wisdom says to me that if we allow this attempt to disrupt the will of the people to be successful, it will fracture the party in an irreparable way," he said. "That will hand the election to people I personally believe would destroy our country. Hillary Clinton was a good friend of Saul Alinsky. She was on a first-name basis with him when she was a student."
Alinsky, he noted, wrote the book Rules for Radicals, which he suggested Americans should read to see the "dangerous" suggestions he made to fundamentally change the nation. Carson said Alinsky wanted to change America from "the great success" of its past into a socialist country.
"If you look at the dedication page, it says 'Dedicated to Lucifer: the original radical who gained his own kingdom,'" he said. "I don't want anything to do with that."
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