On the 26th of February, New Jersey governor and former presidential candidate Chris Christie publicly announced his endorsement of Donald Trump for the republican nomination. On the 11th of March, former presidential candidate Ben Carson also announced his endorsement of Donald Trump. Some might view this as the troops rallying around the front-runner in an effort to re-unite the badly damaged GOP, but I have doubts. I think there is more going on here than meets the eye. First let us think back to some of the mudslinging and muckraking that has taken place in the past few months between Trump and his new endorsers:
Throughout his campaign, Dr. Carson exhibited remarkable reserve, especially relative to every other republican candidate, in only mildly rebuking or criticizing his fellow candidates. Trump, however, not fully understanding the meaning of the words “respectful”, “dignity”, or “calm”, showed no such reserve. Some of his negative past comments about Dr. Carson:
- “Ben Carson is very, very weak on immigration. He believes in amnesty strongly.”
- “Actually, I think Ben Carson is lower energy than Jeb [Bush].”
- “Ben Carson has never created a job in his life (well, maybe a nurse). I have created tens of thousands of jobs, it’s what I do.”
- “I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about, I just don’t know about.”
- “He actually said ‘pathological temper,’ and then he defined it as disease. If you’re pathological, there’s no cure for that, folks. If you’re a child molester, a sick puppy, there’s no cure for that.”
Admittedly, even these comments are somewhat mild for Trump, given comments he has made about women, Muslims, Hispanics and others, but still … if somebody attacked your personal life, your religion and your integrity, would you then turn and offer him your support? Carson claims that he considered each of the GOP candidates in turn before deciding to endorse Trump and settled on Trump because he thinks he has the best chance of beating Hillary in November. But he is wrong when he says “If [establishment Republicans] see a popular movement expanding in Trump’s direction, they have no choice but to come on board.” There are actually two other, more plausible choices: a) they can abstain from voting, or b) they can vote democrat. I have heard numerous republicans claim that one or the other of these alternate options is their intent. Either one is a vote against Trump.
And Governor Christie, who like Carson is a decent man, but a bit more willing to criticize, has had this to say about Trump:
- “What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Just go upstairs to the residence and say I’m not playing? You know, Vladimir Putin isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to return his phone call? The press isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to hold any more press conferences?” (This in response to Trump skipping the Fox News debate)
- “We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we,” he said. “You do not need to be banning Muslims from the country. That’s, in my view, that’s a ridiculous position and one that won’t even be productive.”
- “Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America.”
- “This is not negotiation of a real estate deal, OK? This is international diplomacy, and it’s different.” (In response to Trump claiming he will “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it)
- “I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if you get to ask a question, just ask him ‘how?'” Christie said. “I don’t care which of the things he talks about just ask him, ‘How? How?'”
- “He shouldn’t be making fun of people with disabilities. It’s just not worthy of someone running for the president of the United States.”
Does this sound like a man who wants to throw his lot in with Trump? And flowing the other direction, from Trump about Christie:
- “How is Christie running the state of N.J., which is deeply troubled, when he is spending all of his time in N.H.? New Jersians are not happy!”
- “Chris can’t win because of his past. I don’t believe you’ve heard the last of the George Washington Bridge, because there’s no way he didn’t know about the closure of the George Washington Bridge. And all of his people are now going on trial in the very near future. And they’re going on criminal trial. There’s no way he didn’t know about it.”
- Trump once again blasted Christie for openly welcoming and praising Obama when the president toured New Jersey’s destruction from Sandy in the fall of 2012. “He was so warm and so happy to have Barack Obama in the state of New Jersey that I personally think it could have cost Romney the election.”
Again, low-key, perhaps, for Trump, but still not the stuff that lasting partnerships are made of. And now, Christie says “There is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world, than Donald Trump,” Christie said at a news conference. “He is, looking at the five people on that stage last night [at the GOP debate], the clear standout, and the person who will do exactly what needs to be done to make America a leader around the world again.” Am I the only one who feels truly nauseous on reading this remark?
Does Christie want to be Attorney General? Does Ben Carson want to be Surgeon General? Of course they do. Politicians rarely, if ever, give anything without expecting something in return. When asked in October 2014 if he would be willing to serve as Surgeon General under President Obama, Carson responded, “No, no. Because if I would, if I were going to serve in that position, I would have to serve under someone that I trusted.” Apparently either he trusts Trump more than he trusts President Obama, or he decided that the end justifies the means. I suspect the latter.
I titled this post “The World’s Oldest Profession” for a reason. I believe that both of these men have prostituted themselves, shelved their values and beliefs, sold their proverbial souls to the devil Trump, for personal gain. I do not believe that either Carson or Christie respect Trump nor share his ideology, if in fact her has one. I cling to the hope that all of them will go down together for the third time in November. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece stating that, if they did certain things over the next four years, both Christie and Carson might actually be viable candidates in 2020. I no longer believe that. I was wrong.