Ben Carson blasts RNC, threatens to leave Republican Party

December 11, 2015 in News by RBN Staff

| NOLAN D. MCCASKILL and KYLE CHENEY | via: Freedom 4um | Dec 11, 2015

‘I will not sit by and watch a theft,’ he says.



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, D.C., 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.”

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.”

Sean Spicer, chief strategist for the Republican National Committee, 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.”

“The takeaway was that he [Priebus] was asked a question and he answered it,” added Spicer, who was not at the dinner but said he was briefed on it. “The chairman acknowledged that if we got to that point we would be prepared. Our job is to prepare for a successful nomination process.”

The conversation about what to do if a brokered convention occurs took up just four minutes of the two-hour session, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Trump, when asked about the possibility of a brokered convention last week, said he didn’t think it would happen. “But if it is, I’d certainly go all the way — and I think I’d have a certain disadvantage,” he told The Post. “I’ll be disadvantaged. My disadvantage is that I’d be going up against guys who grew up with other, know each other intimately, and I don’t know who they are, OK? That’s a big disadvantage.”

Trump in recent days has also entertained the idea of a third-party run, despite having pledged not to do so in September. While an independent run is “highly unlikely,” he said, the pledge is a “two-way street.”

“If they don’t treat me with a certain amount of decorum and respect, if they don’t treat me as by far the front-runner, if the playing field is not level, then certainly all options are open,” Trump told CNN’s Don Lemon.

RNC officials met with Trump’s campaign in New York on Wednesday, according to an NBC News report. One official confirmed the meeting, which was attended by several high-ranking RNC members and Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. The official said that for RNC officials to meet with campaigns is “standard and common,” noting that they are meeting with every campaign and will continue to do so throughout the primary.

Carson’s clash with the RNC isn’t his first. He and Trump both threatened to boycott a CNBC debate in November without changes to the format, and they were critical of the RNC’s handling of the matter. At that time, Trump and Carson were dueling for front-runner status. But now the two are on sharply different trajectories in the race: Carson has plunged in national and early-state polls following questions about his personal narrative and his readiness to handle foreign policy issues, while Trump has seen his poll numbers rise.

The news of the Priebus dinner follows the leak last week of a National Republican Senatorial Committee memo sent out by Executive Director Ward Baker that urged its members “prepare for 2016, by understanding the environment and recognizing the Trump phenomenon.” Baker outlined 11 “recommendations” to consider should Trump become the nominee. Suggestions ranged from facing the fact that “Trump is a Misguided Missile” to understanding that “Trump Can Hit the Right Chord.”

The business magnate told CBS News’ John Dickerson this week that the memo is “dishonest” but also a compliment. “They are actually saying that I will be the nominee, but they’re saying, ‘Study Trump, because he’s doing things that nobody’s ever done before and it really works,’” he said. “And obviously, you can leave some of the insults out, but you should learn from Trump.”

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