OTR Interviews

Carson: Trump should not run as a third party candidate, that would guarantee a win for Democrats

Former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson goes 'On the Record'


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 8, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: For the second day in a row, GOP front-runner Donald Trump not holding any campaign events. Earlier, Trump tweeted this: "So great to be in New York. Catching up on many things. Remember, I'm still running a major business while I campaign and loving it."

So, if Trump is not out and about on the campaign trail, what is his strategy in New York?

Former 2016 GOP presidential candidate and Donald Trump supporter Dr. Ben Carson goes ON THE RECORD.

Good evening, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you.

So Dr. Carson, what is the strategy? Because, I mean, sort of the confusing thing for people who watch this, even those of us that cover it is you've got the votes, you win things, but underneath all these votes are the delegates who are the ones that are going to nominate you at the convention. And it seems that Senator Ted Cruz while Donald Trump is collecting votes, Senator Ted Cruz largely is going around figuring out the delegate game to get nominated.

So what is the campaign strategy for Trump at this point?

CARSON: Well, obviously, to continue to do the things that have been working. But there is going to have to be some adjustment made in terms of focusing on not only gathering delegates, but also maintaining them.

And that's why Paul Manafort was brought in and why a number of other people are being brought in. So the infrastructure is obviously changing to adapt to the new situation that has occurred.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what is this infrastructure change that he's going to -- that Paul Manafort is going to do to the Trump campaign?

CARSON: Well, I think he'll probably be the best one to talk about that. But, you know, he's a person who has a great deal of experience, knows what the rules are in the various states. Knows what kinds of things have to be done in order to keep delegates. And you like to keep delegates beyond the first ballot in case that's necessary.

So you have to really be thinking in terms of second and third or potentially even fourth or more ballots.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, this has a little bit of a feel. This whole process of the old comedy routine who is on first, because this rules committee that is going to make all these decisions like a week before the convention. I mean, they can pretty much do what they want. I mean, it's sort of hard to figure out exactly, you know, how to do this because these rules are -- they seem to be quite fluid.

CARSON: Well, you know, one of the things that the Rules Committee is going to have to decide is, is it worth losing everything in order to manipulate the will of the people, or do you want to have rules that honor the will of the people, because, if you do that, you will gain a lot more enthusiasm.

And the millions of people who have been brought in will actually grow to even more, and they will be enthusiastic, and they will defeat the Democrats. But, if you dampen that enthusiasm, it doesn't matter what you do, you're going to lose.

VAN SUSTEREN: But shouldn't you have had this debate in the Republican Party, in your party before now?

I mean, this whole idea, are you going to go sort of the will of the people or are you going to go to the rules?

Are you going to do -- who can out game who with the delegates? I mean, it really seems -- I mean, this is April, and the convention is coming up in July and these campaigns -- all these campaigns started last summer. It seems like, you know, that the Republican Party is a little late in sort of ironing out these wrinkles.

CARSON: Well, bear in mind that it really wasn't until relatively recently that the "Stop Trump Movement" developed.

And, therefore, no one really was thinking too much about the need for changing the rules.

And I hope that once again when the committees sit down and they start thinking their overall concern is what is the will of the people? The people have said that they don't like the path that we have been on. They want to change it.

VAN SUSTEREN: If it turns out that Donald Trump gets 1236, doesn't get the magic number of 37 or some lesser number, and it goes to a contested convention and there is a wicked knockdown, drag-out fight, and let's say that he is not the one that's nominated by the Republican Party. After, you know, after all is said and done.

Would you advise him to run as a third party?

CARSON: No. Because that would absolutely guarantee a win for the Democrats. And what all the conservatives must remember is that that will guarantee two to four Supreme Court picks that will be progressive, even though that's not the word that really describes them. And that will severely alter the future of this country.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Carson, nice to see you. Thank you, sir.

CARSON: You, too. Thank you, Greta.