"Ben [Carson] wants to knock out Medicare. I heard that over the weekend. He wants to abolish Medicare,” Trump said of Carson’s comments that Medicare “probably won’t be necessary” under his health care plan.
Trump added: “Abolishing Medicare, I don't think you'll get away with that one. It's actually a program that's worked. It’s a program that some people love, actually.”
But it was just Sunday morning on ABC News’ "This Week” where Trump said he agreed with Carson’s plan to replace the 50-year-old Medicare system with health savings accounts (HSA).
"I’m OK with the savings accounts. I think it’s a good idea,” Trump said Sunday. “It’s a very down-the-middle idea. It works. It’s something that’s proven.”
On the question Sunday about whether he agreed with Carson’s idea that "Medicare probably won’t be necessary,” Trump said, "It’s possible. You’re going to have to look at that. But I’ll tell you what; the health savings accounts, I’ve been talking about it also. I think it’s a very good idea … it’s an idea whose probably time has come.”
Trump's new comments come on the heels of a new CBS-New York Times national poll that shows Trump's lead essentially gone, now in a neck-and-neck battle with Carson.
As for Carson’s view on Medicare, the retired neurosurgeon has said he does not want to completely end the national, publicly funded insurance program for people 65 and older.
"Well, first of all I didn’t say I was going to abolish it, I said it probably won’t be necessary with the system that I have made but I wouldn't abolish it because some people are wedded to it emotionally," Carson told ABC News
When asked about the risks associated with this plan given his popularity among elderly voters in Iowa, Carson didn't seem concerned. "You know, elderly people are just as smart as non-elderly people and they’re able to see through the hype and see what the media is trying to do with it," he said.
ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Ryan Struyk contributed to this report.