Former presidential candidate Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump at a press conference in Florida on Friday morning, handing Trump an important boost heading into next week’s “Super Tuesday 3.”
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, ended his own White House campaign last week after failing to win a single primary contest. Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference Friday at 9 a.m. ET at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.
The expected endorsement was first reported by The Washington Post.
Carson, respected within the evangelical community, had briefly overtaken Trump in the polls earlier in the 2016 campaign. But he failed to maintain that momentum as he struggled with foreign policy and national security questions, and made multiple gaffes on the trail.
Carson will become the second former Republican presidential candidate to officially back Trump. Last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered a bombshell endorsement of the GOP front-runner.
The development is disappointing news for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. On Wednesday, Carson told CNN’s Erin Burnett he was open to supporting either Trump or Cruz.
“You have to consider all the information, who is most likely to win, and what kind of shenanigans will drive voters away so they will not participate in the process. We have to be very careful in all those things,” Carson said.
Carson was likely referring to the “dirty tricks” he accused Cruz of engaging before the Iowa Caucus when the Texas Senator’s staff told thousands of voters that Carson was dropping out of the race. Cruz claimed a Tweeted rumor he saw on CNN was to blame.
But analysts point out that Cruz never once called Carson to verify it, while Donald Trump did so personally. Carson and Trump both asserted that this “unethical tactic” handed Cruz his victory in Iowa, a contention which Cruz has disputed.