Carson: ‘I Think the People that I Have Are Spectacular’

‘I think the people that I have around me are excellent individuals’

LEMON: "Do you think you have the right people around you at this point, Dr. Carson?"
CARSON: "I think the people that I have are spectacular. I would wonder who else could, you know, get someone who is an outsider, with no organization to disappoint this quickly."
LEMON: "The reason I ask you is because, you know, you were doing well as of a few months ago. But just because you had the right team around you six months ago, does that necessarily mean they are the right team around you now? Because six months ago, foreign policy wasn’t an issue, terrorism wasn’t on the table. So I ask you again, do you think you have the right people to deal with those issues because many people say that’s why you faltered in the polls because of your response specifically to national security and to terrorism."
CARSON: "I think the people that I have around me are excellent individuals. Will we, over the course of time add more people? Will we make some changes and alterations? Of course we will, because we always are going to adjust with the circumstances."
LEMON: "Are you asking members of your team to take pay cuts?"
CARSON: "I am asking members of my team to make sure that all of our salaries are in alignment with what would be normal for the job functions they have."
LEMON: "So according to — and this is in The Washington Post and on background, we have heard that there are stories of concern from your team members in Iowa and South Carolina from staff persons that they’re not happy. And that you are hearing the cries from those folks because that is a direct reflection of what is happening in your national team which controls everything. They are concerned that your national team does not understand what’s going on in those places and there needs to be some rejiggering."
CARSON: "As I said, as organizations grow and they become more complex, sometimes you have to reorganize or make changes. Those are things that I’m looking at very carefully right now."
LEMON: "Have you spoken to your team today? As I understand, according to the “Washington Post” you had a conference call and on background I also hear it was a long conference call where there was sort of a “come to Jesus moment” because you are quoted as saying there could be changes as soon as tomorrow and then they sent us a statement clarifying that there won’t be any changes you said with your main team. So what happened?"
CARSON: "Well, we discussed all the things that are going on, what things need to be going on, what things need to change. I think we’re all in alignment on that page. And we will continue and we will continue to assess the situation as we go on."
LEMON: "Were you ready --"
CARSON: "It’s a dynamic process."
LEMON: "I have to ask you, though, so in the interviews that you gave this morning and then after this conference call at 3:30, it seems to be, and quite honestly, Dr. Carson, a sort of, change in tone and a change in approach. Before this call, were you ready to change teams or dump members of your team?"
CARSON: "Not at all. As I said, I believe that the “Washington Post” already had the story written that they wanted to do. And I actually found it kind of surprising because, you know, Mr. Costas had done a story some months ago about how our campaign was in total shambles and about to disappear. And then, you know, I saw him not too long ago and he said, you know, I was wrong about that and would publicly admit that. So I thought he would be more adjacent in the way that he reported this time, but apparently not."
LEMON: "OK."
CARSON: "I guess, a leopard doesn’t change his spots."

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