According to a report from the Washington Post, the campaign of Tea Party hero and GOP 2016 presidential hopeful Ben Carson has been rocked by the resignations of four senior campaign officials, along with “widespread disarray” among super PACs and that allied with him.
Sources close to Carson described the chaos in his political sphere, revealing that the former neurosurgeon’s “campaign chairman, national finance chairman, deputy campaign manager and general counsel have all resigned since Carson formally launched his bid last month in Detroit.”
So far, the positions of those who left have not been replaced.
From the Washington Post:
The moves gutted the core of Carson’s apparatus and left the 63-year-old first-time candidate with only a handful of experienced aides at his side as he navigates the fluid, crowded and high-stakes contest for the Republican nomination.
Carson is a hot commodity on the right-wing speaking circuit and has fast become a leading candidate, winning straw votes at conservative gatherings and rising in public polls.
But his campaign has been marked by signs of dysfunction and amateurism, alarming friends and supporters who privately worry that Carson’s sprawling circle of associates and boosters is fumbling his opportunity. And, they argue, the candidate has been nonchalant about the unrest.
“Things happen, man,” said Armstrong Williams, Carson’s campaign manager and longtime friend. “That’s the way life works. You start out with one idea, hoping it all works out, and then you get a better understanding of what needs to happen. Remember, we’re not a necessarily a group of political people.”
Two independent super PACs designed to help Carson are instead competing directly with Carson’s campaign for donations and volunteers, while campaign chairman Terry Giles resigned last month with the intention of forming a third super PAC.
Giles said he intends to try to convince the other two super PACs, called Run Ben Run and One Vote, to cease operations so that all outside efforts would be coordinated through the new group. But with Carson’s brand a galvanizing force on the right, there are potentially millions of dollars to be raised off his name and the other super PACs are said to be reluctant to shutter.
According to the Post, Carson’s hands-on participation with campaign staffers was lacking, only dropping by his campaign headquarters in Alexandria once a week.
“Dr. Carson doesn’t get involved in the minutia of things,” Williams explained. “You have to understand his personality. He’s informed, but this whole process is new to him, and he’s relying on the judgment of others.”