Ben Carson, a gentle salamander with a tremendously odd manner, isn’t doing so great, campaign-wise, having just cut 50 staff jobs, or about half of his campaign staff. But he does have clean suits, which seems to be quite important to him.

The Washington Post got their hands on an internal staff memo about the firings; other people working for Carson will have their salaries cut, and everyone may soon have to fly commercial instead of via private jets. (Let us pause here to wring out our hankies.)

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That news comes a day after Carson defended himself for going home to Florida after the Iowa caucuses, where he came in a distant fourth. His rationale: laundry, a thing which can only be done in Florida. Carson asked if his desire to fetch new suits at home makes him “an evil, horrible person”?

From Politico, whose use of the word “rhetorically” makes this whole thing even funnier:

“Is it OK for … being on the road for three weeks to go home and get a change of clothes?” he said, during a conference at the National Press Club in Washington. Does getting clean clothes, he asked rhetorically, make someone an “evil, horrible person?”

Carson’s campaign has insisted he’ll return to the trail soon but for two days after the Iowa caucuses declined to issue a schedule of public events for the candidate, other than to say he’d be spending time Wednesday in Washington and North Carolina.

Carson is also furious at Ted Cruz, as he reiterated at the same presser, for sending out an email on caucus night that kinda suggested Carson was no longer in the race:

Dear ___,

Breaking News. The press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week.

Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Cruz.


Carson previously called that email a “dirty trick,” and has argued repeatedly this week that his desire for homebrewed laundry shouldn’t be held against him.

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But he also said on Fox Business that “of course” as Christians “we forgive people” like, say, Ted Cruz, but also “at some point we have to be responsible. We have to have values and principles that we uphold.”

Carson stuck with the “fresh suits” excuse there too.

“Some people don’t understand that concept,” he explained. “They just wear the same clothes and they stink.”

We all have our weird, emphatically stressed priorities.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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Carson in Iowa, February 1, 2016. Photo via AP Images