Former Republican presidential contender Ben Carson said Monday that Donald Trump’s understanding of foreign policy was comparable to that of most of his rivals in the 2016 race, and maintained that candidates did not need to be experts in foreign policy if they could “utilize the right kinds of people.”
The retired neurosurgeon appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss his endorsement of Trump’s candidacy. When asked if his support for Trump was tepid, Carson insisted that Trump was “the best candidate to solve the problems that are facing our nation right now.” Co-host Mika Brzezinski then asked Carson if he thought Trump was fully briefed and fully knowledgeable about foreign policy.
“I think he’s as knowledgeable as most of the other people,” Carson said. “One of the things that has to be understood is that when it comes to complex foreign policy you’re going to have experts in those areas. I don’t care how much time he spends, for instance, reading about Russian history. He’s not going to be an expert on Russia. And nor is Sen. Cruz and nor is Sen. Sanders. None of them are going to be. And you have to be able to utilize the right kinds of people.”
Carson’s response comes at a time when Trump’s stances on foreign policy have come under fire by both Republicans and Democrats. Trump expounded on his foreign policy positions in an interview with The New York Times last month, in which the GOP front-runner delineated on his views on ISIS, nuclear weapons, NATO and the Middle East. His stances were largely received as uninformed by foreign policy experts.
When asked about the possibility of a contested convention, Carson insisted that he would be loyal to Trump.
“Of the people who are running, I believe that he is the best one to be able to resolve the issues,” Carson said.
However, if Trump did not receive the nomination in the case of a contested convention, Carson said he would support the eventual nominee if the process was “open,” “fair” and “apparent.”
Carson added the caveat that there would likely be “major problems brewing” if Trump or Cruz lost the nomination to someone who had not run.
“Basically what that’s saying is that the people don’t mean anything,” he said.