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Ben Carson to endorse Donald Trump in Florida on Friday

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is set to endorse Donald Trump in Florida on Friday, a person familiar with the situation confirmed to CBS News, giving the GOP front-runner a boost ahead of key primaries in Florida and Ohio next Tuesday.

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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ben Carson appears during a commercial break in a campaign town hall hosted by CNN in Greenville, South Carolina in this February 17, 2016 file photo. Carson said on March 2, 2016 that he does not see a "political path forward" in his 2016 bid for the White House. REUTERS/Rainier Ehrhardt/Files
REUTERS

The endorsement from Carson is arguably the biggest Trump has received since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie backed him in February, and could help Trump with the evangelical and Republican base voters that helped fuel Carson's candidacy.

Carson suspended his campaign in an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference just last Friday, two days after he announced he didn't see a "path forward" in the race.

In an interview on Fox News Radio Thursday, Carson hinted at his support for the GOP real estate mogul. Asked whether he was planning to back Trump, he replied: "Let's put it this way, I'm certainly leaning."

And despite his past criticism of Trump, Carson said Thursday that there's a side of Trump people don't see in public.

"Well, you know there are two Donald Trumps. There's the Donald Trump that you see on television and who gets out in front of big audiences, and there's the Donald Trump behind the scenes," he said. "They're not the same person. One's very much an entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual."