Ben Carson's buyer's remorse? Carson confesses Donald Trump wasn't his top choice

Carson now says he would have preferred to back a different candidate, but Trump offered him a top position

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published March 16, 2016 12:40PM (EDT)

Ben Carson, Donald Trump   (AP/Lynne Sladky)
Ben Carson, Donald Trump (AP/Lynne Sladky)

Well, that was fast.

On Friday, retired neurosurgeon and recent Republican presidential also-ran Ben Carson endorsed his party's frontrunner, Donald Trump. And on Tuesday, he told conservative online site NewsMax TV that Trump was never his first choice, but realistically his best shot at getting into a White House administration.

"The reason I'm for Trump is because I'm a big picture guy," Carson said on"The Steve Malzberg Show," rationalizing his endorsement of a man who recently compared him to a child molester.

"I have to look at what is practical and what is going to save this American dream for the next generation," Carson explained.

"Even if Donald Trump turns out not to be such a great president, which I don't think is the case, I think he's going to surround himself with really good people, but even if he didn't, we're only looking at four years as opposed to multiple generations and perhaps the loss of the American dream forever," Carson told Malzberg.

"Is there another scenario that I would have preferred? Yes. But that scenario isn’t available."

"With one of the other candidates you mean?" Malberg followed-up.

"Yeah," Carson replied.

“I didn’t see a path for Kasich, who I like, or for Rubio, who I like. As far as Cruz is concerned, I don’t think he’s gonna be able to draw independents and Democrats unless has has some kind of miraculous change," Carson told Malzberg.

Later in the interview, Carson revealed that before publicly endorsing Trump at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, he was assured by the billionaire candidate that he would be "doing things" in at least an “advisory capacity” during a Trump administration.

"We haven't hammered out all the details," Carson said when Malzberg pressed him on whether he had been promised a specific Cabinet post. At Friday's press conference, where Carson bizarrely claimed there are "two Donald Trumps,” the frontrunner indicated that he planned to call on Carson’s expertise in the areas of education and healthcare.

Carson continued to play coy with Malzberg on Tuesday: "I'm not going to reveal any details about it right now because all of this is still very liquid."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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