Carson threatens to leave GOP: I won't be part of deception

Republican candidate reacts on 'Your World' to reports of a secretive RNC meeting


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  You think it`s only Donald Trump who has his run-ins with the so-called Republican Party establishment?

But that Washington Post report earlier in the week that a number of party bigwigs were secretly gathering to find a way around the Trump machine, and field a candidate, an establishment candidate who might be able to stop him, got no less than Ben Carson involved, Dr. Carson saying that -- and I quote here -- "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."

His message is that it wouldn`t only be a Donald Trump who would be disgusted and want out, that it might be Ben Carson himself.  

The good doctor joins us right now on the phone.

Dr. Carson, thanks for joining us.  

BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Good to be with you, Neil.  

CAVUTO:  Was that a threat on your part?  

CARSON:  Not so much a threat as a promise.  

I don`t want to be part of corruption.  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.  They just have to accept whatever the will of the people happens to be.

CAVUTO:  So, they`re talking -- again, they denied sort of much of this Washington Post report, Doctor, that there was any cabal going on here.  

What they were talking about, we`re told, is growing concerns about a brokered convention, in other words, that someone gets to Cleveland next summer, the site of the Republican Convention, without the delegates necessary to win, you have got a brokered convention, you have got all sorts of confusion, and they wanted to address that, that they were not citing or targeting anyone.  

What do you say?  

CARSON:  Well, I mean, if that`s the case, then why is it so secretive?  

CAVUTO:  Well, there is that.  

Do you fear that they`re trying to say to guys like you, to guys like Donald Trump, maybe by extension the Ted Cruzes, who don`t necessarily fit the conventional establishment view of, let`s say, a moderate Republican, for lack of better words?  What do you make of that?  

CARSON:  Well, 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.  

They use 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.  I think 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.  

CAVUTO:  All right, we did get a statement, Doctor, from the RNC communications director, Sean Spicer.

This is what he at least relayed to CNN, that: "We meet with people all day long who have an interest in the process, pundits, members of the media, donors, campaigns, other interested people, academics.  This is what happens during on election season."

So no harm, no foul, I think he is saying.  What do you say?  

CARSON:  Well, I say let`s hope that that is absolutely true, and let`s hope that we have entered a new era, and we don`t have a bunch of backroom deals, and we don`t have a lot of people trying to manipulate.  

That is something that I don`t mind being a part of.  But I have no intention of being a part of deception...  

CAVUTO:  All right.  So...

CARSON:  ... and thwarting the will of the people.  



So, you had said that, "If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they`re being betrayed.  I won`t stand for it."

You went on to say: "I assure you Donald Trump won`t be the only one leaving the party."

So, how would you know that was the case?  In other words, if Donald Trump amasses the most delegates, let`s say, and he is at a point where he is on the verge of getting the nomination, and the party is putting up a fight or stink, is that the point that a Dr. Ben Carson says, that`s it, I`m out of here?  

What would bring you to the point of saying, I`m no longer a Republican?  

CARSON:  Yes.  

Well, if it became clear that they were using various types of procedures to get around the will of the people, I would leave.  I just wouldn`t want to be part of it.  


CAVUTO:  Would you stop being a Republican?  

CARSON:  I don`t know.  

But 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.  


CARSON:  I will just tell you that.

CAVUTO:  But what you`re saying here is that you might leave the party, but you wouldn`t run against the party?

CARSON:  No.  I wouldn`t in any way try to destroy what was going on, but I wouldn`t want to be a part of destruction.  

That`s the reason that I got into this, to see if somehow we can turn this thing around and bring back integrity once again.  

CAVUTO:  All right, is it deception, though, Doctor, when someone like a Scott Walker -- when he originally left the race, he had said, we have to rally around a candidate, presumably at the time an alternative to Donald Trump.

But he seemed to be indicating a more establishment-type candidate, that lesser players quit the race.  What do you make of that, of that type of position?  

CARSON:  Well, I would have to respectfully disagree.  I would have to say what we have to do is trust the voters.  

And it may be that they will choose Trump.  It may be that they will over the course of time analyze things and come up with a different conclusion.  But whatever the conclusion is, they are the people.  And it is supposed to be about the will of the people, not about the will of those who say, we know better than the people.  


CAVUTO:  But what if they haven`t -- what if the people haven`t decided or the math is such, with so many candidates in the race, including those who probably don`t have a chance of winning, that the people have effectively decided, all right, let`s say we like Donald Trump, we like Ben Carson, we like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, whoever is polling well right now, but none of those guys has enough votes, enough delegates to secure the nomination?

What is so unusual about the party then saying, well, we ought to find a way or try to encourage a way for the lesser players to either drop out or coalesce around someone else, because, individually, they`re not getting anywhere?

CARSON:  As long as it`s done openly and honestly, I don`t have a problem with it.  

CAVUTO:  Well, that`s interesting.  

So, in other words, talk -- what bothered you was that this was hinting of some sort of backroom deals or that they were secretly aligning themselves to some unnamed candidate, which they say they were not doing.  That really would be bad, in your eyes.

CARSON:  Yes, it would, absolutely.

CAVUTO:  All right.

Would it bother you if they said, we all have to rally around Ben Carson because Donald Trump is looking like he might win?  

CARSON:  Yes, that would bother me.  


CARSON:  If it was through -- if it was thwarting the will of the people, it wouldn`t matter whether I was the recipient or anybody else was the recipient.  

It`s the principle that I would be opposed to.  I`m opposed to anything that thwarts the will of the people.  This country of, for, and by the people, not of, for, and by the political establishment.  

CAVUTO:  So, Doctor, when you hear some Republicans -- and they don`t always have to be establishment types -- that they worry that if Donald Trump were to be your standard-bearer, whether it`s a fair or accurate view or not, that they think the whole party would go down to defeat?

I think it was John McCain who said that, in that kind of scenario, Republicans would even lose the Senate.  Others have expressed reservations that he would lead the party to a humongous defeat, again, whether it`s true or not, and that a good Republican would try to stop that.  

What do you think of that?  

CARSON:  I think we should have more faith in the people than that.  

And I actually think that the people are smarter than most people think that they are, and I think that they will figure this out. And if he is not the right one, if there`s a really good reason that he is not the right one, this is a marathon.  It`s not a sprint.  And over the course of time, they will figure that out.  I really do believe that.  

CAVUTO:  But do you worry or share their concerns -- you and Donald Trump have had a very respectful relationship, but he has said that you`re a great doctor, you wouldn`t make a great president, because you don`t have the skill set there.  But there`s no bad blood here.  You`re just talking on principle, you`re saying, right?

CARSON:  Yes, absolutely.  

Everything that I do, I base it on principle.  And I just don`t get into the personal stuff at all.  That`s not what it`s about.  And it`s not about me.  It`s not about him.  It`s really about America.  And it`s about, how are we going to reestablish it?  

It was -- this was founded as a tremendous country, and we have a tremendous Constitution.  And we have great people.  And 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.  

CAVUTO:  But do you ever fear, Doctor, that you come off looking like you`re whining, too?  That Donald Trump doesn`t get treated by the establishment the way he likes, he might pick up his marbles and go.  
You`re obviously coming from a little different position here, and I understand that.  

But the impression might be to some, well, there`s a little heat in the kitchen, he doesn`t like it, out he goes, he`s a baby.  What do you say?  

CARSON:  Well, I think people are welcome to come to the conclusion they want, but I think -- speaks more than any words could ever speak, and I simply do not like to be associated with corruption.  

CAVUTO:  And that -- to you, that is party figures preferring someone they think would have a better shot at winning?  It`s one thing to say it.  You seem to be drawing the line at their meeting behind closed doors, which they say they`re not, to craft that alternative candidate, right?

CARSON:  Right.  

If they`re meeting behind closed doors and they`re figuring out how they can manipulate the situation to thwart the will of the people, I have a real problem with that.  

CAVUTO:  Have you talked to any of the Republican leadership about this?  

CARSON:  No, not yet.  

CAVUTO:  What kind of reaction have you gotten since your remarks that it wouldn`t only be Donald Trump who would leave?  

CARSON:  Well, I have been out here amongst the people, talking to them here in Iowa.

And, honestly, they`re not that interested in that.  They`re interested in, how are we going to give them a better life, how are we going to give their children a better life, how are we going to deal with these horrible taxes, how are we going to deal with the regulations that are ruining their lives?

These are farmers out here.  Their lives are being affected in a negative way by all these regulations.  That`s what they`re concerned about.  And that`s what I`m concerned about.  

CAVUTO:  So, this is not, separately and cynically, a ploy for attention on your part?  I don`t mean to be disrespectful.  

CARSON:  No, not at all.  


CARSON:  Not at all.

CAVUTO:  The recent polls show, depending on the poll, you`re not as high as you were, but you seemed to have stabilized.  

Do you think you have corrected what was a freefall, or do you think now, given the Ted Cruz endorsement in Iowa, that he might be the man to beat in Iowa, right now, Donald Trump is looking like the guy to beat in New Hampshire, maybe Chris Christie is gaining steam, and that your time might have come and gone?  Do you worry about that?  

CARSON:  No, I really don`t.  

I just worry about making sure that I remain myself, and continue to talk about the things that are important to the people, and let the people make their own decision.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  

Dr. Ben Carson, thank you very much for taking the time.  We very much appreciate it.  

CARSON:  My pleasure.  Thank you, Neil.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  


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