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Fox News "The O'Reilly Factor"- Transcript: The Future of Ben Carson's Campaign


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O'REILLY: Personal story segment tonight. Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie dropping out of the Republican presidential race after New Hampshire but not Ben Carson despite getting just 2 percent of the vote up there.

The doctor joins us now from Greenville, South Carolina, where he is campaigning for that state's primary voting on February 20th on the Republican side.

So as smart as you are you see the odds, you know it's almost impossible you'll win the nomination. Why continue?

CARSON: Well, I don't believe that at all, Bill. First of all, I didn't do that well in New Hampshire because I knew I wasn't going to do well in New Hampshire so I didn't spend much time or money there like many others who spent excessive amounts of time and money there and didn't do very well either. You have to know how to pick your battles.


CARSON: I have picked one here in South Carolina and I think things are going to go much better there. Iowa, you know, I came in fourth. I think I would have done even better without the shenanigans, our internal polling shows that. But, you know, that's water under the bridge. But it's a nine-inning game.

O'REILLY: All right. No, no. I just wanted to get your mind set. I wanted to get -- you are being written off by many pundits, perhaps most. I wanted to get your mind set. So -- ok. You're in South Carolina --

CARSON: Well, the pundits -- but Bill, the pundits have written me off from the very beginning.

O'REILLY: Absolutely, I'm not saying they are right or they're wrong I'm just trying to figure out where you are and how you are seeing it. You are in South Carolina and you've got eight days before the vote. And you have got a big debate tomorrow night.

So you have to basically convince the voters to get away from Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Bush, and Kasich. All right. So it's you against six or five -- five. It's you against five because you have got to take from them. So, in your strategy, is there anybody you are targeting or is there any specific thing that you're doing?

CARSON: I am targeting the fact that I'm providing for the people a choice -- someone who is not controlled by the establishment. Someone who is not controlled by big money or special interest groups. Somebody who is a member of we, the people who believes in truth and integrity and believes that the American people should have that choice. We shouldn't have to settle for something. We should have that choice.

O'REILLY: Now, do you have enough money to do TV ads? Are you doing TV ads in South Carolina?

CARSON: Yes, we will be doing some TV ads.

O'REILLY: All right. So you have got enough money to really compete at the highest level against Trump and Cruz? They have lots of money in South Carolina.

CARSON: We have not only money we have a good ground game and we have incredibly enthusiastic people. And they --

O'REILLY: All right. So you're looking for a big upset. You're looking for -- and you don't have to win. I mean to continue on I would say you would have to get in the top three? I mean, I don't know your financial situation but.

CARSON: I don't think that's going to be a problem -- Bill.

O'REILLY: Really? You think you are going to be in the top three?

CARSON: I absolutely think that. Absolutely, without question.

O'REILLY: Now, on the competitive side, so you are on the stage tomorrow night -- all right? And there is going to be the Trump/Cruz thing tomorrow night is going to get nasty, I predict. They have to go after each other, particularly Cruz has to go after Trump because Trump has got the big lead in the polls although there hasn't been recent polling. I'm not sure about that I predict it's going to be kind of nasty.

You are not a nasty guy. You don't do that kind of stuff. What's your strategy to get attention at the debate?

CARSON: Well, you know, since there will only be six people on the stage it's going to be much more difficult for them to ignore me.

O'REILLY: They'll try though, Doc.

CARSON: But if they do try to ignore me --

O'REILLY: They're going to try. They're going to try to ignore you. You know they will.

CARSON: I'm not going to allow it. I'm not going to allow it.

O'REILLY: Good for you.

CARSON: I'm going to be much more boisterous, ok? I told you I was going to bring my Bill O'Reilly mask. I'm going to wear it.

O'REILLY: You do that. I mean you be -- I'm using the word "obnoxious". It doesn't apply to you. You are the nicest guy in the world. It does apply to me. But you're going to have to break in and you're going to go hey, listen, guys, I expect a couple of questions directed over here if you don't get them up top. And then if you have something to say about any of the issues you are going to have to jump right in because you know that they're going to put you --

CARSON: -- that's exactly right.

O'REILLY: -- over to the side.

Now there are a lot of black voters in South Carolina, most of them are on the Democratic side. Are you appealing to African-Americans at any level?

CARSON: Yes. I just met with a large number. And we're going to have a significant amount of support there. We're going to continue to work on it because what the black community will recognize when they start actually listening to me and not listening to the people who are trying to get them to stay away from me so that they can maintain their control over them that I have the real programs that will get them out of the state of dependency that will allow them to become a part of success and the fabric of America. That will allow for much better education and the kinds of things that are ingredients of the American dream.

O'REILLY: Do you -- you said -- I think it was to Cavuto that if Trump does win the nomination you would consider being a V.P. under Trump. That would be kind of a wild job.

CARSON: What I really said is that I would consider it if it was somebody with whom I was philosophically aligned and which I agreed with the things that would be done. He was the one who brought in the Trump thing.

But I'm not looking for another job. You know, I had a very good job. I did 15,000 operations. I'm not looking just for a job, believe me. I want to fix this country.

O'REILLY: All right. So it's a cause and we wish you the best, Doctor. We always appreciate you coming on The Factor. Thank you.

CARSON: Thank you -- Bill.


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