Marco Rubio picked up the coveted endorsement of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Wednesday. But Dr. Ben Carson also had his own to announce: his first congressional supporter after more than six months of campaigning.
Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican who is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus (the far-right group involved with former House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation and Paul Ryan’s subsequent installation), made his case for Carson, a fellow doctor, in a statement released by the candidate's campaign:
"He will restore America to greatness," Harris said, "not as a punch line in a campaign, but as a belief in returning America to its Constitutional roots. What we saw in the debate last Saturday reminds us just how much we need someone thoughtful like Dr. Carson in the White House."
Politico reports that Carson, who seems to be free-falling in the polls since grabbing the GOP lead in early November, goes back some 30 years with Harris, to when they both practiced medicine at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Harris’ endorsement came hours before his colleague in the House and in the Freedom Caucus, Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador, announced that he was supporting Sen. Ted Cruz.
A just-released NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll indicates that Ted Cruz is now the first choice of Republican voters at 28 percent. Carson is second-to-last in the same poll, with 10 percent.
Harris, when asked by the Washington Post to respond to the idea that his endorsement may be too little, too late for Carson’s campaign, disagreed. “A lack of aggression in the debates is not a sign of struggling,” he said.