Carson calls on Cruz to fire staffer for false dropout claim

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 3, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You know, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Carson and his wife over the years. And he is a very, very patient, quiet, reserved individual.

In fact, his staff, if you believe all the scuttlebutt, they wanted him to get a little more vinegar on the stump, get a little angrier. He doesn't do that. So you know when he is upset. And I think it's fair to say, today, reading in between the lines in his statements, he's upset. He just doesn't shout about it.

The good doctor joining me right now.

And I guess the issue, Dr. Carson -- it's very good to have you -- is this Cruz campaign apology and from the senator, Cruz, himself on any confusion the night of Iowa caucuses, and that they might have been hastening this talk of you skipping the race, when, in fact, the early tweets and message from your campaign was that you were heading back to get new clothes and get back out on the stump.

Be that as it may, he apologized. Not good enough. Why is it not good enough?

BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I always will accept the apology, as a Christian, recognizing that we are all imperfect human beings.

The question is what's being done about it. When you see that there's a problem, what do you do about it? I noticed, in my campaign, that things were not as I expected. I talked about it. Nothing changed. So, I made some substantial changes, and things are much, much better now.

If, in fact, Senator Cruz does not agree with things that were done, with the deceit that was carried out, then I would expect that he would do something about it. If he does nothing about it, then it means he agrees with it.

CAVUTO: All right, so that means someone has to lose their job, someone has to go, is what you're saying?

CARSON: I can't see how you do it otherwise, or at least those people who are responsible should come out publicly and admit what they did and ask for forgiveness.

But to simply try to brush it under the rug and say it doesn't matter doesn't make any sense. You know, those caucuses, my wife went to some of them. And at one of them, one of the Cruz people had spoken before she came in, and tried to dissuade people and say that I wasn't really going to stay in the race.

And she wasn't supposed to speak, but the people saw her. They wanted her to speak. And she did.

CAVUTO: So, they knew who she was. But why did you release...

CARSON: But let just me finish.


CAVUTO: Or your campaign released that tweet that night, confusing people, because we saw it too when we were having our round-the-clock Fox Business coverage.

CARSON: Yes. Sure.

CAVUTO: And then that came up, and it confused a lot of people, thinking, is he dropping out, what?

CARSON: It may have confused people, but let me just finish that story, Neil.

She spoke. And they were wildly enthusiastic. And we won that precinct.  How many times would that have been duplicated? A lot of -- I had gotten a lot of intelligence that we were going to have tremendous showing that night, and we did not have a tremendous showing.

And I believe that had something to do with it. But whether it did or not, the real issue is this. The reason I got in this race, one of the reasons, is because I'm so tired, like the rest of Americans, of deceit, deception, and no consequences, no responsibility for anything.

Look what happened with the IRS and Lois Lerner. No responsibility.

CAVUTO: No, no, I understand, Doctor, you're -- why you're upset.

But I was actually looking at how you did during the caucuses. You received 9 -- a little over 9 percent, 9.5 percent of the vote, better than 17,300 votes. You were polling a lot worse than that going into the caucuses. So, you did a lot better than expected.

So, I'm wondering, how did this hurt you?

CARSON: Yes, but I think it would have been a lot better than that.

CAVUTO: Really?


CARSON: Yes, I do believe that, because we were seeing very large crowds, standing room only, doing double events.

And so many people were telling me that they had changed their mind and they couldn't wait. And then to have your hopes disabused, somebody come along and say, well, he is out of it, that's very disappointing.

I just -- that's water under the bridge. But the real question is, what will be done about it, or what will people take from this?

CAVUTO: There's nothing illegal. Even in the worst case, if everything you said was true, and this was a Machiavellian plot to fool voters into thinking you were out of the race, that's -- I am told by lawyers -- I am not one myself, Doctor -- but that's not illegal.

CARSON: It is not Machiavellian. Let's not go quite that far.

But the fact of the matter is, it is politics as usual. Isn't that what we don't want? And I would hope that Senator Cruz, if, as he told me, he didn't know about this and he doesn't agree with it, will come out and do something about it to indicate that he really doesn't agree with it.

CAVUTO: But you don't want, like Donald Trump, a do-over? You don't want another Iowa caucus or any -- to put it to rest, all of this stuff?

CARSON: I think that would be impractical. If it could be done easily, I think it would be a great idea. But I don't think that can be done very easily.

CAVUTO: What are you doing in Washington and not in New Hampshire today?

CARSON: I am having some meetings tonight. I'm going to the National Prayer Breakfast tomorrow, and meeting with a number of dignitaries from around the world to talk about the United States vs. other countries and what's going on.


CAVUTO: What about -- you have heard obviously Rand Paul out, Rick Santorum thinking about getting out, Mike Huckabee out.

The pressure is on. Now, you, unlike them, have more money in the bank and cash on hand as a campaign. You don't have that immediate financial threat. But if you don't do well in New Hampshire, Doctor, what then?

CARSON: Well, just remember, Neil, one of the great American pastimes is baseball.

And have you noticed that they don't call the game after the second inning?  There's a reason for that.

CAVUTO: Sometimes, depending on the game, I wish they would.


CAVUTO: Because the highlights are fine for me like at 11:00, but -- so, you're not giving up yet?

CARSON: Hey, it is a marathon. It's not a sprint. There's a lot of stuff that is going to be coming out all over the place. That's why we have this elongated process. I think it's going to work very well.

CAVUTO: All right, Dr. Carson, thank you for taking the time.

CARSON: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Ben Carson, all right.

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