Dr. Ben Carson says he would run outside the Republican Party, but doesn't think it's necessary and says he has no intention of doing so this election.
"If I had to, I would, but I don't think it's necessary," Carson told 99.3FM radio on Monday when asked if he'd be willing to run outside the Republican Party. "I believe that people can actually move beyond the label."
Carson said many Democrats have told him that they would vote for him and said that it meant people could move beyond party labels to vote on the issues.
"Well, I don't see a situation where I need to run outside of it," Carson said again when asked if he'd run outside the party. "I see a lot of intelligent people at the rallies that we go to, both Democrats and Republican, mostly Republicans, mostly conservatives.
"But you know, again, I don't think we need to emphasize so much a person's political party as we need to emphasize a person's philosophy," he continued. "What do they believe in? Do they believe in America? Do they think that there's something unique and special and exceptional about America. Do they believe in values and principles that made us great, or are they just willing to give all that stuff about for the sake of political correctness."
Asked a third time if he'd run outside the Republican Party, Carson again said "if I had to."
Asked a fourth time, more explicitly if it meant he'd run as independent this election, Carson backtracked.
"No, I didn't say that at all. That's not what I'm saying. I have no intention of running an outside campaign. Zero."