Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, a brain surgeon who ran for president in 2016, on Sunday endorsed former President Donald Trump for president.
“Our nation is in desperate need of strong leadership. A President who fights for the American people, our freedoms, our safety, and our future,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday. “Donald J. Trump is that leader and I am proud to give him my full endorsement for President of the United States today. Join me in this fight to Make America Great Again!”
Mr. Carson also appeared at a campaign event in Iowa and endorsed President Trump, the leading 2024 GOP candidate, during a speech ahead of the former president’s scheduled address.
“As I stand here today, I want to offer my most confident and full endorsement of Donald J. Trump,” said Mr. Carson, adding, “Donald Trump believes in our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms.”
He noted that President Trump has “lost millions, if not billions of dollars” amid his presidency and the aftermath.
“He’s been attacked constantly and demonized, and yet, he’s still there,” Mr. Carson added. “They haven’t gotten rid of him. They’re trying to do everything in their power to get rid of [him]. Because he’s the biggest threat to the administrative state and to the swamp.”
In 2016, Mr. Carson dropped out of the 2016 primary race and endorsed President Trump. Since then, he’s been a prominent backer of the former president, having served in his Cabinet through the end of his term.
But he’s not the first 2016 candidate to publicly back President Trump. Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who dropped out of the 2016 Republican primary race, also endorsed the former president earlier this month.
“Trump may not be warm and cuddly, but he is a warrior, and that is what we need right now,” Mr. Jindal wrote on social media in mid-October. “I just had a great conversation with President Trump, and I told him that he has my full and complete endorsement to win back the White House and Make America Great Again!” he added.
Even though he faces charges in several state and federal cases, President Trump’s lead in the polls hasn’t slipped at all. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying they are an attempt to dissuade people from voting for him.
A recent aggregate of polls from RealClearPolitics shows that he has 59.1 percent support among potential voters in the GOP primary, up about 1 percentage point since mid-October. Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has 12.6 percent, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has 8.3 percent, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has 4.5 percent.
On Monday, the Fivethirtyeight.com polling average places President Trump at 57 percent, or about 43 points higher than Mr. DeSantis and 49 points up on Mrs. Haley.
In Iowa, a key early primary battleground, President Trump is besting his rivals by about 30 percentage points in a poll from the Des Moines Register. He currently has 43 percent support in the Hawkeye State, with both Mrs. Haley and Mr. DeSantis tied at about 16 percent each.
J. Ann Selzer, an Iowa pollster who conducted the survey, told media outlets that “this is a good poll for Donald Trump. For all the things that happened between the last poll and now, he’s still the dominant player in the field and his standing has, in fact, improved from August.”