Carson Threatens to Leave GOP over Report Party May ‘Subvert’ Voters’ Will

‘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’


RIVERA: “We're back now with your ‘First Read’ on politics this morning. And developing now, talk of changing the Republican nomination process to keep Donald Trump out. It’s now prompting Ben Carson to threaten to leave the party. Responding to a ‘Washington Post" story about GOP leaders considering a brokered convention, Carson put out a new statement that says, ‘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. 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.’ Joining me now, NBC news political reporter Mark Murray. What is this talk of the brokered convention and now Ben Carson and Donald Trump saying they may bolt the party?”

MURRAY: “I think this underscores how much of a division there is inside the Republican Party between a lot of the party elites and the establishment and some of the people who are running for the president as well as major portions of the base. And it's just not even with this one story, Frances. It also has to do with the debates and negotiations over the debates. now, i will say that with the ‘Washington Post’ mentioning a meeting in which RNC chairman Reince Priebus and other republican big wigs were, and where the topic of a brokered or contested convention came up. And I will tell you from our own reporting that this was just like one question. This dinner was not all about what would happen in case of a brokered or contested convention. This was just a question that came up and people said, what do we do if Donald Trump ends up being maybe a handful of delegates away from clinching the Republican nomination? There was some back-and-forth, but nothing about some big plot to keep Donald Trump or, by extension, Ben Carson away from the nomination. So, it seems like this statement is a little bit of overreaction to what we have in our own reporting, but once again, it does just kind of underscore that when you have the candidates on one side and the party elites on the other, you usually have troubles with your own party.”

RIVERA: “Well, in that sense, in what you're writing, that may be exactly what's fueling Donald Trump. I mean, you have terrorism fears, insecurity with the economy, but that divide between the elite and the rank and file may be also what's fueling him right to the top as well, while causing problems within the party.”

MURRAY: “Yeah. And so, to be able to look at Donald trump's rise in the polls, and actually, his incredible staying power that we've seen over the last six months, this isn't just one reason why he's doing that well. And of course, there's still an open question of whether he even becomes the republican nominee. But you talk about this divide inside the Republican Party. You end up talking about economic insecurity, and there's the fear of terrorism after Paris and San Bernardino. There’s also the distrust in the media. And then, of course, there is just the changing demographics in this country and how the republican party has tried to be able to exploit that. All of those things considered show you why Donald Trump's doing as well as he's doing.”

RIVERA: “All right. Mark Murray, thank you very much for that.”

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