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Ben Carson: I Would Not Run as Independent If Convention Is 'Brokered'

Image: Ben Carson: I Would Not Run as Independent If Convention Is 'Brokered'
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By    |   Friday, 11 Dec 2015 05:32 PM

Ben Carson said Friday that he would not run as an independent candidate amid reports that Republican Party officials had met to discuss the possibility of a "brokered" convention to name a presidential nominee in Cleveland next year as Donald Trump continues to lead in national polls.

"If it became clear that they were using various types of procedures to get around the will of the people, I would leave," the retired pediatric neurosurgeon told Neil Cavuto on Fox News in a telephone interview from Iowa. "I just wouldn't want to be part of it."

When asked what he would then do, Carson responded, "I don't know. I might go back to being an independent. I wouldn't run as a third party.

"I would never do that, because regardless of what they do, it would be better than having Hillary Clinton.

"I wouldn't in any way try to destroy what was going on, but I would not want to be a part of the deception," Carson said. "That's the reason I got into this: to see if somehow we can turn this thing around and bring back integrity."

The Washington Post reported late Thursday that 20 top GOP officials, along with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, attended a private dinner on Monday to outline the party's convention strategy.

Priebus and McConnell, the six-term Kentucky senator, remained silent, according to the report, while other party members argued that mainstream party members should begin preparing for a fight on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena if Trump sweeps next year's state primaries.

Generally, most delegates are required to support the candidate chosen in primaries or caucuses, the Post reports. That would not hold, however, if no nominee is chosen.

This could lead to a "brokered" convention, in which deals are made to attract delegates to another candidate.

Sean Spicer the RNC's chief strategist and communications director, told Newsmax that the committee was "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," Spicer said in a statement.

The Republican National Convention will be held July 18 to 21, 2016.

Carson slammed party leaders, charging that any brokering of an eventual nominee would usurp "the will of the people" and telling Cavuto that his leaving the Republican Party was "not so much a threat as a promise.

"I don't want to be part of corruption," Carson said. "One of the reasons that I got into this race is because I want to return America to we, the people — and the last thing I want to be part of is a bunch of establishment party bosses thwarting the will of the people.

Carson blamed leaders from both political parties for creating the current political climate in which he and Trump have thrived as outside candidates since their campaigns began earlier this year. His national polling numbers have been slipping in recent weeks.

"It's been the conventional political establishment on both parties that have manipulated for the last many decades that has gotten us into this position," he told Cavuto. "They used the press, they use whatever they have, to manipulate the population and make them think that they're getting what they want when in fact they are not.

"And I'm tired of it," Carson declared. "A lot of people are tired of it — although they still a lot of times don't realize they're being manipulated, and we just have to fight this.

"We cannot capitulate to it."

Carson and Trump will be onstage at Tuesday's fifth Republican debate at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. One of the co-hosts is CNN.

Trump has also threatened to run as an independent if he does not win the party's nomination. Carson declined to attack the front-runner's protest — but said that his position was based on principle.

"It's not about me or him," he told Cavuto. "It's really about America — and it's about how are we going to re-establish it.

This was founded as a tremendous country," Carson said. "We have a tremendous Constitution, and we have great people.

"Let's get back to the principles that made us great again and stop with all this riffraff and deception and denigrating of the intellect of people."

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Ben Carson said Friday that he would not run as an independent candidate amid reports that Republican Party officials had met to discuss the possibility of a brokered convention to name a presidential nominee in Cleveland next year as Donald Trump continues to lead in national polls.
ben carson, independent, third party, donald trump, rnc
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2015-32-11
Friday, 11 Dec 2015 05:32 PM
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