Carson's ex-campaign manager: Trump will be GOP nominee

Carson's ex-campaign manager: Trump will be GOP nominee
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    Carson's ex-campaign manager: Trump will be GOP nominee

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Carson's ex-campaign manager: Trump will be GOP nominee 01:27

Story highlights

  • Barry Bennett believes Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee
  • "The establishment can fret about it all they want, but this is the new reality," he said

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president unless something "cataclysmic" happens, Ben Carson's former campaign manager said Wednesday.

"All you've got to do is compare the size of everyone's rallies. And that's really a demonstration of grass-roots support," Barry Bennett told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour." "Donald Trump is having 10,000, 12,000 people show up at rallies. A lot of these guys are having five or six people show up at their events in Iowa. There's just not a comparison. You know, the establishment can fret about it all they want, but this is the new reality."
CNN's John Berman asked Bennett, who resigned last week as Carson's campaign has struggled, to clarify his remarks.
    "This is coming from a guy who, until a week ago, was Ben Carson's campaign manager," Berman said. "Barry, you just said that unless something radical changes, Donald Trump will be the nominee."
    "He's sitting in a polling position. I mean, you know, people are getting kicked off to the next debate. Some people will be kicked off to the junior table," Bennett replied. "And nobody is moving up beyond 11% or 12% and Donald Trump stays at 30, 32, 34, 35%."
    Bennett added, "He's got the support out there right now, and unless something cataclysmic happens, he's going to win."
    Bennett, along with deputy campaign manager Lisa Coen and communications director Doug Watts, resigned last week as Carson has struggled in the polls and amid reports of turmoil in the campaign.
    Soon after he quit, Bennett told Time magazine that he was furious Carson business manager Armstrong Williams' role in the operation, adding that it would take "some psychologists" to uncover why Williams has such influence with Carson.