GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson repeated his threat to leave the GOP on Sunday, claiming that he was “out of here” if Republican leaders were going to engage in “back room deals.”
More than 20 Republican officials reportedly met last week at a dinner held by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to discuss the possibility of “a brokered convention” if billionaire mogul Donald Trump emerges as the GOP nominee, according to a report from the Washington Post.
A brokered convention, where delegates would select the GOP nominee for 2016 through a vote on the convention floor in Cleveland, would only occur if the leading GOP candidate “failed to win a simple majority of 2,472 delegates by the time the final state primary contests complete in June of next year.”
Carson responded on Friday, claiming that “if the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described” in the report.
[pull_quote_center]These are the kinds of things that have resulted in the very corrupt system that has no integrity. And it’s why people don’t trust government anymore. We need to get away from that.[/pull_quote_center]
Carson went on to suggest that he would consider leaving the GOP if the report proved to be true, due to the fact that he believes such meetings are “the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters.”
“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. “I pray that the report in The Post this morning was incorrect. If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it.”
[RELATED: Reality Check: Is Ben Carson the Latest Victim of Flawed Media Investigations?]
During an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Carson was asked if he was “prepared to make good on that threat.”
“Well, one of the reasons that I got into this is because I heard the frustration in the people who are so tired of back room deals, of subterfuge, of dishonesty,” Carson replied. “And, you know, if that is the case, then you know I’m out of here.”
Carson claimed that he has “subsequently spoken to Reince Priebus,” who assured him that the kind of meeting described was a routine meeting, and that “the last thing they would do is engage in back room dealing.”
“But, you know, the jury is out,” Carson concluded. “We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on things.”
On Friday, Carson said he has no intention of running as an independent candidate if he is to drop out of the GOP race. “I have no intention of running as an Independent,” he said. “But I certainly don’t want to be part of the corruption.”
For more election coverage, click here.