Dr. Ben Carson, a Republican presidential candidate who had given a lukewarm endorsement of Donald Trump during a tense campaign cycle, hinted Wednesday that he would accept a position within the president-elect's administration. He had previously confirmed he had received an offer to serve as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and perhaps other positions.
"Well, our inner cities are in terrible shape. They definitely need some real attention," Carson told Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Tuesday. "There have been so many promises made over the last several decades and nothing has been done. So it's certainly something that has been a long-term interest of mine. And I will be thinking and praying about [the HUD position] seriously over the holiday."
On Wednesday afternoon, Carson took to Facebook to confirm "serious discussions" with the Trump transition team.
"Winning the presidential election was only the first step for those who love traditional America and do not wish to fundamentally change it," Carson wrote.
"Now the hard work begins of restoring the values that made us great. We must bring back the compassion and the unity that empowers us and banish the divisiveness that weakens us. After serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone. We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid. An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again."
On Tuesday, Trump posted on Twitter that Carson is a candidate to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, describing Carson as "a greatly talented person who loves people."
Carson's opinions about Trump have been uneven. In March, Carson said "there are two different Donald Trumps," and then reversed his position when challenged by reporters. "I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps. I think there's one Donald Trump, but certainly, you have, look, all of this, and you have somebody else that sits and reads and thinks and I'm a thinker, and I have been a thinker," Carson would later say.
Carson's initial comments suggested that Trump's volatile rally speeches didn't reveal how he would consider policy decisions.
"First of all, I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He’s actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America," Carson said. "There are two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully."
Trump said in March that he and Carson had "buried the hatchet."
Carson, 65, previously served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1984 to 2013. He has never served in public office but was hired as a weekly opinion columnist in July 2013 by the Washington Times, a conservative newspaper.
Carson was later hired as Fox News commentator and served in the position for over a year from October 2013 until November 2015.