Carson to lead Trump’s outreach to former presidential rivals
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Ben Carson will personally reach out to all of the former Republican presidential candidates Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE has vanquished to ask them to rally behind the presumptive GOP nominee.

In an interview on Thursday, Carson said he’d lobby all of Trump’s defeated foes — even those who fought bitterly with Trump, such as Jeb Bush and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin Graham19 House Democrats call on Capitol physician to mandate vaccines The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Simone wins bronze with altered beam routine The job of shielding journalists is not finished MORE, and have said they won’t endorse or vote for him in the general election.

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"I've experienced Trump's insults first hand, but I also know the importance of getting a conservative on the Supreme Court, bringing jobs back to the country and getting the country's fiscal mess in order,” said Carson, who ended his own GOP bid in early March.

“It was a tough primary, but I think some of his former rivals and those he fought with the most will be open to giving him another look once they see the outreach he's done on Capitol Hill and realize that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBriahna Joy Gray: Progressives like Turner should reconsider running as Democrats Biden wishes Obama a happy birthday Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE is the only alternative."

Among Trump’s former rivals are Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: Senate panel votes to scrap Iraq war authorizations | Police officer fatally stabbed outside Pentagon ID'd | Biden admin approves first Taiwan arms sale Senate panel votes to repeal Iraq war authorizations America's pandemic of COVID hypocrisy MORE (R-Texas), who spent his last day on the campaign trail condemning Trump as a bully and a liar; Cruz’s pick for a running mate, Carly Fiorina; and Graham and Bush, both of whom have said they won’t support Trump in the general election.

Also still on the sidelines are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulKaine says he has votes to pass Iraq War repeal in Senate Overnight Defense: Senate panel votes to scrap Iraq war authorizations | Police officer fatally stabbed outside Pentagon ID'd | Biden admin approves first Taiwan arms sale Senate panel votes to repeal Iraq war authorizations MORE (R-Ky.), former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a potential vice presidential candidate.

Carson’s new round of outreach comes as Trump makes his pitch to the GOP leaders on Capitol Hill who are still trying to wrap their minds around the billionaire businessman becoming the party’s standard-bearer.

Trump met with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTo cut poverty and solve the labor shortage, enhance the Earned Income Tax Credit Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday, as well as GOP leaders in the House and Senate, in an effort to unify a party that has splintered over his rise.

Carson, who has become a jack-of-all-trades for Trump and a prominent member of his inner circle, spoke with Ryan days before that meeting in an attempt to lay the groundwork ahead of Thursday.

A source with knowledge of the conversation said Trump was impressed by Carson’s outreach, and the two agreed he’d continue in that vein by reaching out to the former GOP presidential candidates.

Carson on Thursday downplayed Ryan’s refusal to endorse Trump.

“Are there differences? Of course there are. There are differences between everybody,” Carson said. “But I think as they talk they’ll find they’re not as far apart on those policies as you might think. I think as this relationship develops it will be a very strong and positive relationship that will result in getting a lot of things done.”

Carson said he’s confident a Ryan endorsement will come eventually.

"Paul Ryan is a patriot, and Donald Trump is a patriot, and they both want America to succeed, and that’s really the big common bond that will allow them to work extremely effectively together," Carson said.

“Speaker Ryan is a very thoughtful man and as they get to know each other they’ll find themselves growing closer together and Ryan will make the appropriate decision at the appropriate time."