Ben Carson Says He’d Run As an Independent, Remembers Stupid GOP Pledge

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Heritage Foundation Take Back America Presidential Forum in Greenville, SC
Ben Carson.Photo: Richard Ellis/Corbis

Earlier this month, the Republican Party made every one of its candidates sign a loyalty oath in an effort to rein in Donald Trump, but so far the pledge has only caused problems for his rivals. When asked during a 99.3 FM interview on Monday if he’d be willing to run outside the Republican party, Ben Carson said, “If I had to, I would, but I don’t think it’s necessary.” Host Keith Larson noted that Carson didn’t raise his hand when asked in the first debate if he’d run as an independent, and asked two more times if he was really saying he’d run outside of the GOP. “Well, I don’t see a situation where I need to run outside of it,” Carson said, though he reiterated that he would “if I had to.” “So if you’re not the nominee, you’ll run outside the party?” Larson asked, for the fourth time. “No, I didn’t say that at all,” Carson replied, suddenly realizing that he’d made a written promise not to do so. “That’s not what I’m saying. I have no intention of running an outside campaign. Zero.”