Hours after telling the Associated Press and Washington Post that he expected to make significant changes to his campaign team, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson completely reversed course. In a statement obtained by Politico Wednesday, Carson said he has “100 percent confidence in my campaign team.”
Carson accused the Post and AP of misrepresenting the comments he made during Wednesday interviews at his Maryland home in which he telegraphed major impending “personnel changes.”
“Everything. Everything is on the table,” he said, according to the AP. “Every single thing is on the table. I’m looking carefully.”
Later that night on CNN, after a meeting with his campaign leadership team, Carson said he thought the Post “had their story already written before they talked to me and they were convinced that I was going to fire everybody and we were going to go in a completely different direction. I think the people that I have are spectacular.”
Post politics editor Steven Ginsberg denied these accusations.
Still, the retired neurosurgeon did not deny that some leadership changes may still be in the works, telling Politico that he may add new faces to his senior leadership team and shift staffers’ roles.
The confusion about what exactly was going on at Carson headquarters was stoked by the comments of top Carson associates. Campaign manager Barry Bennett declined to comment on any imminent staff mix-ups to the AP, while aide and business manager Armstrong Williams applauded Carson for being “back in charge” of his own campaign.
After a surge in the polls in October and November, Carson’s numbers have been languishing in the run-up to the first caucuses in early 2016.