Carson: Brokered convention would ‘destroy’ GOP
Ben Carson is threatening to leave the GOP following a report that senior Republican officials met to discuss the party’s strategy in the event of a brokered convention.
“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.
“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,” he continued.
Five unnamed sources told the Post that Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attended a dinner on Monday with around 20 senior party officials to discuss the party’s convention strategy.
The sources said several longtime party members argued the establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight in the event that Donald Trump sweeps through the primaries.
But Priebus and McConnell reportedly remained silent throughout the deliberations, taking care not to signal support for an anti-Trump effort.
Carson said if the report is true, Republican voters are being “betrayed” by their party.
“I pray that the report in the Post this morning was incorrect,” he said in the statement. “If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it.”
“If the powerful try to manipulate it, the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next summer may be the last convention,” he continued. “I am prepared to lose fair and square, as I am sure is Donald. But I will not sit by and watch a theft.”
Chief GOP strategist Sean Spicer said he is “confident” that Carson will not leave the party.
“I feel very confident he will stay in the party, as will Donald Trump, as will everyone else,” he said Friday on CNN. “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.”
“It’ll all work out, I promise,” he added.
Trump has said he is preparing a strategy in the event of a brokered convention.
He has also resurfaced hints of a third-party run.
Spicer said Trump was not a significant topic of conversation at the dinner.
-Updated at 11:57 a.m.
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