Since dropping out of the presidential race, Ben Carson has remained a vocal pillar of the Republican party — often, you might say, a bit too vocal. Despite his undying support of Donald Trump and obvious desire to be involved in the election, Carson doesn't want to be Trump's vice president or even a member of his Cabinet, but his tweets tell a different story. The retired neurosurgeon's Twitter is full of presidential quotes about unity and enforcing the laws of the land that give the impression he wants to be more than an average citizen.
Speaking on Fox Business Network's The Intelligence Report Monday, Carson said: "I would not want to be on the ticket or in the Cabinet. I personally feel that I can be considerably more effective as an outside voice. I was an outside voice before all this started." He also disagreed with the theory that the presumptive GOP nominee needs a female or minority running mate in order to win, explaining that the only qualifier he wants to see is someone who loves America. "I don't care if they're a man, woman, black, white, Asian, whatever," Carson said. "If they fit that description, they're great with me. We have gotten so much into this identity politics thing."
Earlier this month, Carson leaked a list of names Trump was supposedly considering for his VP spot, including Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio. He later clarified that everyone was being considered, but wasn't necessarily on the shortlist of potential running mates. Trump said few, if any, of the names Carson spewed were really on his list and reportedly kicked Carson off his VP selection team.
If Carson really doesn't want a place in a Trump administration, his behavior doesn't make much sense. The Republican's comments go way beyond endorsing Trump's campaign and still sound like a politician running for office. For example, Carson tweeted Monday about immigration — a key issue for the Trump campaign — but didn't tout his presidential pick's stance that America needs to build a wall to keep Mexicans out. "Securing our borders is essential to our safety and our prosperity," he said. "Enforcing the immigration laws that are already on the books is a logical step for our country regardless of one's political persuasion." The tweet was also a well-made graphic with the quote on top of a very presidential looking photo of Carson, which he obviously didn't make himself.
Carson's staff is still managing his social media presence as if he's in the race, which is a little confusing. A few weeks ago, he tweeted: "Bringing people together is important, and I will work hard to help unify the Republican Party." His references to unity and beating Hillary Clinton sound more like campaign rhetoric than simply party loyalty.
Since his words and actions don't match up, it's unclear what role Carson wants. For now, he'll continue being the outspoken non-candidate no one knows what to do with.