Carson’s Ex-Campaign Manager On Why He Left
Barry Bennet says his “frustration was boiling over.”
Communications director Doug Watts and campaign manager Barry Bennett both quit after simmering tensions within Carson’s camp boiled over, with much of the resentment focused on Carson’s relationship with political commentator Armstrong Williams. Williams has no official role in the campaign, but holds sway over the candidate and has gone rogue in recent weeks, organizing media appearances without consent of the official campaign.
Bennett spoke to TIME about the Williams problem and his decision to leave.
Bennett: I had a call scheduled with Ben this morning at 9:30 to go over the end of the quarter, and I called him to tell him that we’d raised more money than any other Republican candidate again this quarter, that we’d even broken our own record from last quarter, but that my frustration level was boiling over and I thought that it would be best if I resigned and he found somebody else to run the campaign…
The straw that broke the camel’s back, per se, was the interviews that he [Carson] did on December 23 that Armstrong arranged that we didn’t know about, where he said that every job was on the table… And I’m like, we have 150 staff people who all went home for Christmas thinking that their jobs were on the line. And that was stupid. First of all, that’s not a good press story… Two.. we ruined everybody’s holiday. So I spent the holiday talking to everybody trying to convince them that everything was fine, and I just got angrier and angrier about it. And I prayed about it, and the Serenity Prayer came to mind, you know, there’s some things you just can’t change.