Carson aide Armstrong Williams: Donald Trump is 'desperate'

Story highlights

  • A top Ben Carson aide said Donald Trump should be "nervous" and "desperate" over Carson's rise
  • Carson aide Armstrong Williams warned Trump against attacking Carson in Tuesday's GOP debate

Washington (CNN)A top Ben Carson aide says Donald Trump "should be nervous -- and actually, desperate" over the retired brain surgeon's rise in the Republican presidential field.

Armstrong Williams, Carson's business manager, warned Trump against attacking Carson in Tuesday night's GOP debate in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead," saying that doing so "would not be wise" and is "not a winning approach."
    "He's pretty desperate because he cannot even understand how Dr. Carson, or anybody, is leading him in the polls," Williams said.
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    "He'll assume that everybody should have dropped out of the race by now. But he doesn't understand -- the race is yet to begin," he said. "And he has to earn it, nobody's going to give it to him. And if he thinks Dr. Carson is going to drop out of the race or be intimidated by his tactics, he's lost and confused. He needs a different strategy."
    Williams also said that Trump "has not figured out how to deal with Dr. Carson," arguing that the real estate mogul's typical tactics have not worked in Carson's case.
    He even taunted Trump about polls that now show she two neck-and-neck in the GOP primary race.
    "Mr. Trump should be nervous, and actually, desperate," Williams said. "A month ago, he had a double-digit lead over Dr. Carson in South Carolina. Dr. Carson is now leading 28-27. He's closing the gaps. Mr. Trump is fond of saying that when somebody, he attacks, the numbers go down. He has not figured out how to deal with Dr. Carson."