President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team on Monday announced that the billionaire businessman would nominate his former rival for the Republican nomination to be his Housing and Urban Development Secretary.
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Trump said in a statement released by his team.
“We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities,” the statement continued, adding “Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
Chip Somodevilla (Getty/AFP/File)
“Ben Carson quit the Republican presidential race in March, only to endorse Donald Trump one week later”
Retired neurosurgeon Carson suspended his own presidential bid in March and endorsed Trump shortly after.
I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I’ve gotten to know him well–he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 de noviembre de 2016
His bid, which initially gained support among Christian conservatives, ultimately fizzled as he stumbled presenting concrete policies and answering questions about key issues.
Trump had indicated last month that he was considering Carson for the position, writing in a tweet: “I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I’ve gotten to know him well–he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!”
Carson said: “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need.
“We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”
“I grew up in the inner city,” Carson told Fox News last month. “And have spent a lot of time there. And have dealt with a lot of patients from that area.”
Carson is the first African-American nominated to Trump’s team.
Carson’s history is the epitome of the American dream. The 65-year-old grew up poor, raised by an illiterate mother who married at age 13 but left her bigamist husband.
DOMINICK REUTER (AFP/Archives)
“Ben Carson, photographed on November 1, 2016 in Pennsylvania, was nominated to be Housing and Urban Development secretary”
He developed into a model student, earning a scholarship to Yale University and attending the University of Michigan medical school.
At 33, he became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, earning global acclaim in 1987 by performing the first successful separation of twins conjoined at the head.
He retired in 2013 to hit the conservative talk circuit, describing how faith and family values had helped him as a drifting teenager to realize his dream.
He routinely promotes a return to individual responsibility — a value that led him to denounce the welfare state, which he has warned only traps people in poverty.
“If we continually keep people in a dependent position,” he told conservatives in 2013, “then they’re soon going to lose the drive that is necessary to achieve in our society.”
(Staff with agencies)