Ben Carson Friday threatened to leave the Republican Party after seeing reports of a high-level meeting of party establishment figures to discuss the road ahead.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has been in the top tier of GOP presidential candidates in recent weeks, issued a fiery statement ripping the party.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Sean Spicer, Republican National Committee spokesman, said Carson should be concerned. Spicer told CNN, "I say to Dr. Carson, 'Don't worry, your prayers have been answered.’ It was a dinner where the subject was how the delegate selection process works. ... At the end of that dinner, there were a lot of questions asked."
Trump fired back at Republicans. “They're kidding themselves. I'm going to win. I think I'm going to win. You know, I'm not one of these other guys that goes down. I don't go down. I go up,” he said in an interview to be presented on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”
“I say, folks, you know, I'm sorry I did this to you, but you've got to get used to it. It's one of those little problems in life,” Trump told Wallace.
At the RNC, Spicer said he was confident Carson will remain in the party, as will Trump, “as will everyone else. We're going to have a great nominating process....It will all work out.”
Trump, the GOP front-runner, has dangled the idea of an independent bid if he’s not treated fairly by the party.
Carson said that if the reports about the meeting were correct, “every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it.
“This process is the one played out by our party. If the powerful try to manipulate it, the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next summer may be the last convention,” Carson said.
“I am prepared to lose fair and square, as I am sure is Donald. 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. My campaign is about ‘We the People,’ not ‘They the Powerful.’’’