According to multiple sources, three of Ben Carson‘s top aides have resigned from his presidential campaign. Barry Bennett, Carson’s campaign manager, said he quit over differences with Carson’s other adviser, Armstrong Williams.
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“For the past seven weeks, I’ve been doing nothing but putting out Armstrong Williams-started fires,” Bennett told Reuters.
Bennett specifically blamed Williams for an interview Carson did with The Washington Post that suggested that the campaign was in disarray. “It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen a candidate do,” Bennett said.
Doug Watts, Carson’s communications director, also resigned due to conflicts with Williams, who holds no official position with the campaign.
Watts confirmed the news in a statement to the Des Moines Register: “Yes, Barry Bennett and I have resigned from the Carson campaign effective immediately. We respect the candidate and we have enjoyed helping him go from far back in the field to top tier status. Having just announced raising $23 million for the fourth quarter, more than any other Republican candidate, and passing one million contributions and and over 600 million unique donors. Since March, we are proud of our efforts for Dr. Carson and we wish him and his campaign the best of luck.”
After Bennett and Watt’s resignations, another aide — Deputy Campaign Manager Lisa Cohen — resigned as well. “I am deeply concerned about the campaign’s ability to move forward successfully without them,” Coen said.
Though Carson’s campaign has been raising plenty of money, he’s been steadily slipping in the polls for the past several months. Carson typically finds himself in fourth place in recent polls, behind frontrunner Donald Trump, as well as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
So who will be leading the Carson campaign now? Bob Dees, a retired Army major general, is stepping into the role of campaign chairman while Ed Brookover, formerly a senior strategist, will serve as the retired neurosurgeon’s campaign manager.