Ben Carson’s campaign is floundering in the polls and is desperate for attention. By all accounts, he is now behind both Rubio and Cruz and on a downward trajectory. Multiple news sources report that his campaign is in chaos and beset by backbiting and infighting.
Apparently, the RNC is planning, as a contingency measure, for the possibility of a brokered convention. No one at this point is saying that this will likely happen, or that the RNC will be taking sides or attempting to make it happen, but it’s always good to have a backup plan.
In light of this news, Ben Carson is taking this opportunity to unleash his inner Donald Trump and is threatening to leave the GOP.
Ben Carson on Friday blasted the Republican National Committee following a Washington Post report that nearly two-dozen establishment party figures were prepping for a potential brokered convention as Donald Trump continues to lead most polls.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus held a dinner in Washington, D.C., on Monday, and, according to five people who spoke with the Post, the possibility of Trump heading into the Cleveland convention with a substantial number of delegates was a topic of discussion. Some attendees suggested the establishment lay the groundwork for a floor fight that could lead the party’s mainstream wing to unite behind an alternative. Carson rejected this approach.
“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,” Carson said in a statement released by his campaign.
Carson said he prays the Post’s report is incorrect and threatened to leave the GOP. “If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it,” said Carson, who added that if the plot is accurate, “I assure you Donald Trump won’t be the only one leaving the party.”
Trump can withstand threatening to leave the GOP because most of his supporters are not very Republican in the first place – they are instead loyal to Trump. Carson, on the other hand, primarily draws what remains of his support from actual conservative Republicans.
If Donald Trump leaves the GOP and runs independent, a substantial number of his followers will go with him, as a number of polls indicate. If Ben Carson does the same, an overwhelming number of his supporters will continue the ongoing defection towards either Rubio or Cruz, depending on their taste.
It’s possible, of course, that Carson can read the writing on the wall, and is looking for a graceful exit from what has been, to this point, an exceptionally successful book tour. If so, it would provide a gift to the non-Trump wing of the party to hasten the consolidation of the conservative vote.