MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson met with his campaign volunteers at his headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire, Saturday morning, reassuring them that he is not suspending campaigning and telling them not to let anyone convince them that he is going anywhere.
“I am in this,” he told a room full of his campaign volunteers in the New Hampshire office, referencing a recent Washington Post report about Carson cutting his campaign staff. “I’m not leaving. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Maybe I should never go home for another change of clothes,” Carson joked, referencing the initial report from CNN on Monday night during the Iowa caucuses that Carson was heading back to Florida after the caucus and not going on to New Hampshire or South Carolina like the other GOP candidates.
CNN’s report is what Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) campaign blames for its internal emails and voicemails sent to Cruz precinct captains in Iowa, spreading the message that Carson was “suspending campaigning” and urging Carson supporters to caucus for Cruz instead.
“The way I grew up, you just don’t throw your clothes away and buy a new set,” Carson continued. “If God sees fit to put me in the presidency, America will learn what thrift is.”
“It’s great to be here,” Candy Carson, Carson’s wife, also told the room filled with campaign volunteers, saying that the people in New Hampshire have been warm and welcoming.
She also referenced the Iowa caucuses, adding, “Some negative things … happened there” and mentioned that she was at a caucus site last Monday. “They allowed me to speak” to correct the rumors, she said.
Carson told the volunteers who have been going door to door for him in New Hampshire and making campaign calls to voters that he wants to “express … gratitude for all the work that people [are] doing,” adding it’s a “tough job”:
One of the things that really kind of disappointed me about some of the events in Iowa this week was the fact that people would actually think that I was the kind of person who…after so many workers – college students had come and volunteered, worked their tails off, one even lost his life – that I would say, “Eh, I’m out of here.”
“I would never even dream of doing something like that,” Carson clarified. “I am just saddened by the fact that so many people just don’t really have the kind of ethical basis … where they understand that.”
Carson went on to discuss foreign policy under the current administration:
When it comes to foreign policy, we have to be able to think strategically ahead of time. Our foreign policy right now is wait for somebody else to do something, then react to it. That’s not what a leader does. A leader has to understand what’s going on and lead and create various situations and control them.
Carson, who is participating in the GOP primary debate Saturday night in Manchester, New Hampshire, is ranked eighth in the Granite State.