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GOP candidate Carson threatens to leave Republican Party

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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson spoke at the States and Nation Policy Summit of the American Legislative Exchange Council and the American City County Exchange on Dec. 4 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

WASHINGTON » In what would be a nightmare scenario for the GOP, presidential candidate Ben Carson threatened today to leave the Republican Party amid reports of deepening concerns from GOP officials about the splintered 2016 electorate.

The retired neurosurgeon lashed out at Republican leaders who discussed the possibility of a “brokered convention” during a recent private dinner in Washington. The Washington Post first reported Thursday that the group, including Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, addressed the sustained strength of billionaire business Donald Trump and the possibility that a consensus nominee might not emerge before the party’s mid-July national convention in Cleveland.

“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 that referenced Trump’s repeated threats to leave the GOP if treated “unfairly.”

“I pray that the report in the Post this morning was incorrect,” Carson added. “If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it.”

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer responded, “His prayers have been answered,” adding that it’s ultimately the voters who will decide on the Republican nominee.

A third-party run by Carson or Trump would be a worst-case scenario for the GOP. While Carson is slipping in recent polls, an independent bid that siphoned even a few percentage points away from the party’s nominee could make it all but impossible for the Republican nominee to win the general election.

Spokesman Doug Watts said Carson was appalled at reports suggesting that Republican leaders were trying to manipulate the party’s presidential nominating process. He acknowledged that Carson, like Trump and the rest of Republican field, signed a pledge not to launch a third-party bid.

“The pledge isn’t meaningless,” Watts said. “But he signed the pledge based on everybody playing by the rules.”

At least one attendee at the private dinner, which is a regular gathering of leading Republicans in Washington, told The Associated Press that suggestions of manipulation by party leaders were dramatically exaggerated. There was brief discussion of the logistical challenges of running a national convention without a presumptive nominee, the attendee said.

Past practice gives one presidential candidate control of convention planning when he or she emerges as the party’s nominee earlier in the year. Party officials agreed during the private dinner to review contingency plans should multiple candidates remain viable leading into the mid-July convention, according to the same attendee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss a private meeting.

While unlikely, the possibility of a brokered convention is a common topic of conversation for political operatives examining the turbulent 2016 election season.

Such a scenario would play out if none of the Republican candidates accumulate the necessary number of delegates in the state-based primaries by the time the GOP holds its national convention in mid-July.

The last time a brokered convention played out was in 1976.

32 responses to “GOP candidate Carson threatens to leave Republican Party”

  1. wrightj says:

    What a big horse and pony show. The terrorists are giggling over this.

  2. choyd says:

    It’s a train wreck of epic proportions that we just can’t stop watching.

  3. Boots says:

    Republicans are hopeless. They stand for nothing and they don’t believe in working. Why anyone would vote for a party of welfare bums is beyond me. 111 days scheduled for the republican house next year. Pathetic. Their salary should be reduced at least 50%!

  4. Maipono says:

    At least the Republican Primary Election is a thousand times more interesting than the old and boring Democratic Party, with no new ideas and the same old same old.

    • kuroiwaj says:

      Maipono, fully agree with your post. The Democrats have already accomplished what some of the GOP elites are attempting to accomplish. If you’re not part of the ‘Click’ you don’t have a voice in the Democratic Party. At least the GOP, not in Hawaii, continue to have the people’s voice heard.

  5. butinski says:

    Self destruct. That’s what the Republican fools are doing to themselves. Trump, Carson, Cruz and all the rest of that motley bunch. Even with all her baggage, “President” Hillary Clinton sounds pretty good.

  6. mikethenovice says:

    The Republicans who are well known for drilling for oil, can forget about promoting that agenda every since the price of has tanked last year.

  7. GorillaSmith says:

    If the Republicans don’t play fair with Trump and Carson, we’ll all be doomed to 8 years of a Hillary reign of terror. That would make the past 16 years of Bushbama look like the good old days.

  8. mikethenovice says:

    Republicans are best known for the constant bashing of both the Democrats and their own party, Republicans. Unlike the Democrats who are focus on building America, instead of bashing.

    • sarge22 says:

      Trump will “Make America Great Again” The establishment can’t handle Donald or the Doc. Doesn’t matter which party as folks are fed up. It’s not the usual party thing.

      • HanabataDays says:

        The “fed up” folks are a minority who don’t have the numbers to swing the election.

      • Cellodad says:

        I keep wondering which “Again” it is to which Trump refers? Is it the “again” of Eisenhower?, The “again” of Lincoln? The
        “again” of Monroe or Madison? Could it be the “again” that only exists in his imagination under the animal that lives on the top of his head?

    • Denominator says:

      Problem is the Democrats want to “build” American into a Sweden or Norway.
      Dismantling of America is closer to the Obama goal!

  9. HanabataDays says:

    I’d love to see a Trump-Carson independent ticket. You got it — I’m true blue Democratic. Fact is, it won’t happen; they detest each other.

  10. Cellodad says:

    Thank heavens. Just because one is a brain surgeon (of questionable background) doesn’t mean that he knows anything about anything else. (I am not a Replicate or a Democan but I am sick of stupid in our electoral process. I love this country and it’s being ill-served in this century by big money and big dumb.)

  11. PoiDoggy says:

    Don’t let the door hit you, etc.

  12. Ronin006 says:

    All you liberals who are jumping for joy at the prospects of a brokered Republican Convention might want to do a little research about brokered conventions before saying too much about the possibility of the 2016 Republican Convention being brokered. There were four brokered conventions up to 1952; all were Democrat Conventions. Since 1952, five conventions were projected to be brokered, but they were not. Four were Democrat Conventions and only one was Republican. Thus, the history of disarray within political parties clearly has been with the Democrats.

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