Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Announcing his 2016 endorsement today. Ben Carson described Donald Trump as "actually a very intelligent man," which sure makes a heck of an inspiring bumper sticker.
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'16 from 30,000
Within the space of 12 or so minutes this morning, Donald Trump said these two phrases: "I think there are two Donald Trumps" and "I don't think there are two Donald Trumps." He was agreeing - then disagreeing - with new endorser Ben Carson's assessment that Trump's private persona is much more "cerebral" than the image he projects publicly.
If the regular laws of political physics still applied, we could imagine a universe in which the mirror-image phrases would end up as familiar to TV audiences as Obama's "you didn't build that" or the infamous Romney "Etch-a-Sketch." Had it been any other candidate, media types may have even put to use that charming, old-fashioned noun: "a gaffe." But because Trump has upended the rules of gravity so much, it seems doubtful that even skillful ad-making to highlight the moment will matter at all to Trump fans, who have been undeterred even by his real-time policy flip-flops on debate stages and in press conferences.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Ben Carson endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, saying there are "two different Donald Trumps."
- Marco Rubio's campaign is indicating that his supporters in Ohio should back John Kasich to prevent Donald Trump from winning the state's primary on Tuesday.
- Protesters interrupted Donald Trump's St. Louis rally on multiple occasions Friday.
- The Trump Campaign is now requiring some volunteers to sign Non-Disclosure agreements, NBC's Ari Melber and Leigh Ann Caldwell report.
- In today's Tales from the Trail: NBC's Vaughn Hillyard reports from a town that feels forgotten 11 years after Hurricane Katrina.
- MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin highlights five takeaways from last night's debate.
- And from First Read: Last night's "civil" GOP debate helped Trump.
FOR THE RECORD…
"There are two different Donald Trumps."
- Ben Carson, who endorsed Trump on Friday.
SATURDAY: Trump, Clinton and Kasich campaign in Ohio. Cruz is in Missouri while Rubio campaigns in Florida.
Guam and Washington, D.C. hold GOP nominating contests on Saturday. Northern Mariana Islands holds a Democratic primary.
SUNDAY: Ted Cruz and John Kasich join Chuck Todd on "Meet The Press."