NASCAR legend Richard Petty offered an endorsement of sorts to Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson during a meeting at a camp for disabled children run by the seven-time Daytona 500 winner.
“We’re hoping he’s endorsing the camp,” Petty told the Associated Press. “We’re not necessarily endorsing him, but we are. You know what I mean?”
Carson weighed in on Petty describing the uproar over fans flying the Confederate battle flag at NASCAR events as a “passing fancy.” The African-American Republican called the banner a “symbol of hate” but nevertheless defended the right of Americans to fly it “if it’s private property and that’s what they want to do.”
Carson places behind Donald Trump and ahead of Carly Fiorina in most recent national surveys of Republican voters in their choice for the presidential nomination. The latest ABC/Washington Post poll of all voters gives Carson a 45-27 favorable/unfavorable split. Carson bests rivals Donald Trump (35-60) and Carly Fiorina (35-35) in leaving a favorable impression on Americans.
Count Richard Petty among those with a favorable impression.
“He’s very humane,” Petty, nominated in 1996 by Republicans for the office of secretary of state in North Carolina, said of Carson at the Randleman, North Carolina event on Monday. “That’s one of his strong points as far as we’re concerned.”