Carson Reveals Reasons for Campaign Shake-up
He's now got a retired general running the show
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2016 12:07 AM CST
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson poses for a photograph before speaking with The Associated Press in his home in Upperco, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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(Newser) – Ben Carson says last week's shake-up of campaign staff was because he is "in a different ballgame" now—and the previous campaign leaders apparently weren't ready for the big leagues. The candidate told ABC's This Week that the campaign always had good ideas, but lacked "the ability to execute a plan." Carson said that when he brought in retired Gen. Bob Dees as his new campaign chief, "there were some who decided under those circumstances it would be too difficult for them to work," including campaign manager Barry Bennett and communications director Doug Watts, who abruptly announced their resignation. Carson said Bennett quit because of the "very substantial changes" being made, not because he was about to get fired.

When asked about top adviser Armstrong Williams, whose role in the campaign troubled Bennett and other aides, Carson admitted that his friend had "made some bad judgments" but said he was a "valuable individual," Politico notes. Carson promised there would be big changes ahead for his campaign, which has fallen to fourth in the polls amid worries about his grasp of foreign policy, the Wall Street Journal reports. He still appears to have work to do: Later in the This Week interview, when host Martha Raddatz asked Carson about Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, Carson seemed unfamiliar with the issues involved and tried to steer the conversation toward President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. (Carson is no longer competing with George Pataki.)