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Ben Carson: I'll Reconsider Candidacy If I Don't Finish Top 3 in 2 of 4 First States


By    |   Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 05:56 PM

Dr. Ben Carson has set the parameters for withdrawing from the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — saying he'll quit if he isn't one of the top three vote-getters in two of first four primary states.

The retired pediatric neurosurgeon, whose meteoric rise to the top of the GOP pack last fall took a dramatic fall in the past few weeks — told Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg he must score in first, second or third place in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, or he'll back out.

"You need to do well in two of the first four states. As that happens, it potentially becomes much clearer. [One of the] top three," Carson said.

"If it becomes apparent that it's not something that people are interested in, whenever something like that would happen, I would not ever be one of those people who's just there for the purpose of being there."

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Carson was asked about a recent Washington Post report that while his campaign has had massive online fundraising success, it never invested the money in a serious organization to get out the vote in states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Instead it re-invested funds to continue building its direct marketing lists.

The Post said some believe the campaign is guilty of "misusing its funds, reinvesting the bulk of its earnings into raising more money, chartered flights and into bloated campaign salaries instead of building the sort of robust infrastructure in early voting states that will be crucial for whomever locks down the nomination."

Carson — whose campaign was recently rocked by the resignation of several key staffers following rumors of a shakeup in the works — told Malzberg:

"I would simply say that a startup organization, starting up in March with no donor base, no Rolodex, no organization, the expenses involved are considerably higher than an organization that is already in place.

"That is what a senator or governor or somebody who's established in politics would already have. That would be the reason that the cost was initially higher. Those costs are going down dramatically now because now we have an established organization.

"So all the speculation about that, the people who actually know politics know better that others are simply trying to take advantage of the lack of knowledge of others to try to make it seem that there's something."

Carson also told Malzberg he was not concerned about the new controversy over whether Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, is a viable candidate.

"The rules are fairly well specified in terms of who qualifies to be a natural born citizen. [If you are a] citizen of the United States and you're born on foreign soil, you are still an American citizen.

"That has always been the case as far as I know…. For me it's not an issue."

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Dr. Ben Carson has set the parameters for withdrawing from the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — saying he'll quit if he isn't one of the top three vote-getters in two of first four primary states.
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Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 05:56 PM
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