Ben Carson, Like Donald Trump, Threatens to Leave GOP
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has threatened to leave the party after a Washington Post article reported that Republicans have met up to discuss what to do in the situation of a brokered convention, in which no single candidate has won the majority of delegates prior to the convention in July. It was hinted that the party could move to support a consensus nominee.
"If this was the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters and replace it with the will of the political elite, I assure you Donald Trump will not be the only one leaving the party," Carson said in a statement.
He continued, "I pray that the report in the Post this morning was incorrect. If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won't stand for it."
When asked if he would run as an Independent, Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who is currently second in the polls after Trump, said that although he has "no intentions" of doing so, he also does not "want to be a part of corruption."
According to the Post, at least 20 Republicans met up for a dinner hosted by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Per the Post:
"Weighing in on that scenario as Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listened, several longtime Republican power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party's establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight in which the GOP's mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative, the people said.
The development represents a major shift for veteran Republican strategists, who until this month had spoken of a brokered convention only in the most hypothetical terms - and had tried to encourage a drama-free nomination by limiting debates and setting an earlier convention date."
The post added that Priebus and McConnell remained quiet for the most part of the discussions.
Sean Spicer, the RNC's chief strategist and spokesman, commented on the dinner, stating, "The RNC is neutral in this process, and the rules are set until the convention begins next July. Our goal is to ensure a successful nomination, and that requires us thinking through every scenario, including a contested convention."
This is the first time that Carson has made a threat to leave the GOP. Trump, on the other hand, has repeatedly threatened to leave if the party does not treat him fairly.
CNN noted that the RNC had asked candidates to sign a pledge stating that they will support whoever becomes the Republican nominees.
The last time the GOP has to gather because it did not have a clear nominee was in 1976.