Ben Carson on Tuesday defended Donald Trump’s focus on Bill Clinton’s affairs and recent attacks on Hillary Clinton, saying that the presumptive Republican nominee’s hits are “part of who we have become as a nation.”
“It probably is a part of who we have become as a nation,” Carson told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “Erin Burnett Out Front.”
Carson was asked about recent clips where Trump nailed Bill Clinton as “the worst abuser of women in the history of politics” and accused Hillary Clinton herself of bullying other women. But Carson, who was at one time mocked by Trump in the heat of the primaries, argued that Trump would be naive to be a “nice guy” with the Clintons.
“Would I love to see a situation where the candidates sat down and actually talked about the issues and about the ideas so that people could really make the right kind of decision not based on emotionalism? I would love that, I think we would all love that. But that’s not where we are as a nation,” Carson said.
He added: “We’re in what I call the ‘WWE Raw Stage.’ And if you don’t understand that you’re going to be at a disadvantage. I guarantee you that Hillary and her crew will be using it. So if Donald Trump sits back and says, ‘I’m going to be a nice guy,’ it probably will work to his disadvantage.
The fighting between Hillary Clinton and Trump has heated up ever since he effectively secured the Republican nomination and Trump has drawn almost even with her in most national polling, causing worry among many Democrats.
But Trump also has a massive fundraising deficit to make up for in the general election, one he began in earnest this week by hosting joint fundraising events with top Republican donors he had formerly denounced.
Carson defended Trump’s decision to move away from paying for his own campaign and court megadonors, saying that Trump could use up to $1 billion of his own money if he needed to, but that much of it was not liquid and “locked in buildings” for now.
“Well I know several people who are big real estate developers and they have a lot of money. But it’s not liquid, it’s in building and properties, so it’s not that easy to liquidate all that and just put it into a campaign,” Carson said. “If worse came to worst and he had to do that I suspect he would, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be necessary.”
Trump and the Republican National Committee have touted a handful of high-dollar fundraisers this week as evidence that top-dollar donors are overcoming their wariness of Trump and Carson said he was confident more would come on board.
“I think the donors will come, they recognize that it’s more of an investment,” Carson said. “You can invest your money in this campaign of Donald Trump and somebody who believes in traditional American principles or you can hold onto your money and allow somebody who has more of a socialist bent to get in and they just take your money anyway.”