By Yigit Topcu
Dean Parker, Ben Carson’s finance chairman and top fundraiser, resigned from the campaign on Thursday after a wave of scrutiny surfaced over his salary and expenses. According to people from inside the campaign, Parker repeatedly misspent campaign money on unnecessary expenses. Furthermore, Parker was earning a salary of $20,000 per month, despite his position as finance chairman usually being an unpaid position in most campaigns.
The resignation of Parker is only the latest in a series of inner-campaign chaos and fracturing that has been plaguing the Carson campaign for the last several weeks.
In early January, Carson’s then-campaign manager and communications directors both resigned. Later on the same day, the Deputy Campaign Manager left as well because of the departures.
Carson, who in November was the main challenger to frontrunner Donald Trump’s lead in national polls, has since slipped to a mid-tier candidate in popularity. Perhaps the biggest reason for this has come from Carson’s weak grasp on foreign policy issues.
From serious errors in foreign affairs such as claiming that the Chinese are involved in Syria, to more embarrassing mistakes like repeatedly mispronouncing the word “Hamas” to sound more like “Hummus”, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with no government experience in the past, has repeatedly made blunders that has hurt his poll numbers.
An adviser of Carson on terrorism and national security said about him, “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the middle east,” adding that they needed weekly briefings with the candidate on foreign policy, “so we can make him smart.”
The combination of weak foreign policy, slipping poll numbers and campaign chaos has led to the fading of Ben Carson’s aspirations for the White House. In a primary election marked by outsider candidates reigning supreme, it seems that Republican voters have found Ben Carson to be a bit too much of an outsider.