Threat: I’ll leave GOP: Ben Carson GOP Threat
Published: December 12, 2015
Threat: I’ll leave GOP: Ben Carson GOP Threat, Ben Carson on Friday blasted the Republican National Committee following a Washington Post report that nearly two-dozen establishment party figures were prepping for a potential brokered convention as Donald Trump continues to lead most polls.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus held a dinner in Washington on Monday, and, according to five people who spoke with the Post, the possibility of Trump heading into the Cleveland convention with a substantial number of delegates was a topic of discussion. Some attendees suggested the establishment lay the groundwork for a floor fight that could lead the party’s mainstream wing to unite behind an alternative. Carson rejected this approach.
“If the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described in the Washington Post this morning,” Carson said in a statement released by his campaign.
Carson said he prays the Post’s report is incorrect and threatened to leave the GOP. “If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it,” said Carson, who added that if the plot is accurate, “I assure you, Donald Trump won’t be the only one leaving the party.”
The retired neurosurgeon said that next summer’s Cleveland convention could be the last Republican National Convention if leaders try to manipulate it.
“I am prepared to lose fair and square, as I am sure is Donald,” Carson said. “But I will not sit by and watch a theft. I intend on being the nominee. If I am not, the winner will have my support. If the winner isn’t our nominee, then we have a massive problem.”
Carson told ABC News on Friday that he had no plans to run as an independent. “But I certainly don’t want to be a part of corruption,” he said, stopping short of saying he would drop out of the race if he left the Republican Party.
“I’ll leave that up to you to speculate,” he added with a smile.
Just days earlier, Carson had suggested that a third-party bid by Trump could be unnecessary. “I believe that the party has pledged to be fair to him and to be fair to everybody,” he told CNN. “So I don’t see where that would be necessary quite frankly. Obviously, if the people choose him, we have an obligation to respect the will of the people.”
GOP candidates Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina on Friday jumped into the fray. In an interview with Boston radio host Jeff Kuhner on WRKO, Paul expressed solidarity with Carson and Trump. “If the establishment tries to block an outsider from winning the nomination, there’ll be war within the party, and they’ll destroy the party,” the Kentucky senator warned, adding that if voters’ efforts are “thwarted” there will be a “real problem.”
Fiorina took a different stance, bashing Carson’s threat in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “No, I’m not gonna threaten to leave the party because I actually am a Republican,” Fiorina said. “I don’t actually understand, quite, the point that Dr. Carson is making. Nobody in the party determines whether or not there’s a brokered convention. The voters are going to determine whether there’s a brokered convention.”
Sean Spicer, chief strategist for the RNC, downplayed the significance of Monday’s dinner. “This was a discussion about the delegation selection process,” he said, likening it to past sessions held for the media. “A question was asked on whether we are ready. We are always ready.”
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