Ben CarsonBen CarsonRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Government indoctrination, whether 'critical' or 'patriotic,' is wrong MORE on Friday ruled out running as a third-party candidate after saying earlier in the day that he would drop out of the GOP if there was a brokered convention.
But he reiterated in an interview with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto that he also doesn’t want to be affiliated with the party establishment if it is seen to be “manipulating the will of the people.”
“If it became clear that they were using various types of prodceures to get around the will of the people, I would leave, I just wouldn’t want to be any part of it," he said. "I might go back to being an Independent," he said.
"I wouldn’t in any way try to destroy what was going on but I don’t want to be part of the deception," he added.
Carson earlier on Friday threatened to leave the GOP following a Washington Post report that Republican officials were meeting to discuss their strategy for a brokered convention if front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE continued to lead in the polls. The Post suggested that some key donors were pushing for a strategy to deny Trump the nomination.
Carson said in a statement, “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.”
He added, “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.”
In response to Carson’s threats, chief strategist for the Republican National Committee Sean Spicer told CNN on Friday, "I feel very confident he will stay in the party, as will Donald Trump, as will everyone else. We will have a great nominating process. Everybody will stay in, we will select the best nominee for this party, and we will take back the White House."
Carson has been slipping in the polls after his grasp of foreign policy and national security came under scrutiny in the wake of deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.
The retired neurosurgeon, sits in third place in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls.