The Washington Post broke a story yesterday about a dinner between the Republican National Committee and several top GOP donors to discuss the state of the race heading into the primaries. Among the most contention items, according to the report, is a demand from donors that the RNC be prepared to have a floor fight to stop Donald Trump from becoming the nominee if he amasses a sizable number of delegates. Apparently this isn’t sitting well with Ben Carson who is threatening to leave the Republican Party over the matter.
Report from Politico:
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 noteworthy number of delegates was a topic of discussion. In the meeting, a number of Republicans suggested the establishment lay the groundwork for a floor fight that would lead the party’s mainstream wing to unite behind an alternative.
“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 noted that if the plot is accurate, “I assure you Donald Trump won’t be the only one leaving the party.”
The retired neurosurgeon said that next summer’s Cleveland convention could be the last Republican National Convention if leaders try to manipulate it.
“I am prepared to lose fair and square, as I am sure is Donald,” Carson said. “But I will not sit by and watch a theft. I intend on being the nominee. If I am not, the winner will have my support. If the winner isn’t our nominee then we have a massive problem.”
You can read the Post story here, it’s worth a read to get an understanding of the churn within the upper ranks of the Republican establishment over the current crop of candidates. If it did come down to some engineered convention, I suspect it would be a lot more than Carson leaving the GOP. Just consider the large chunk of support that Trump, Cruz, and Carson command with the Republican field. If the “outsiders” were being shunned by the party, that’s a lot of voters potentially sitting home or voting third-party if it came down to that. All of this most certainly benefits the Democratic nominee if the GOP is splintered heading into next year.