GOP candidate Ted Cruz ‘s volunteers should have checked the facts with Ben Carson ‘s campaign that fateful Monday night in Iowa. It wouldn’t have been difficult.
It’s good Cruz apologized but doesn’t undo damage his campaign could have avoided inflicting. Cruz attempted to explain how the misleading messages came to be:
On Monday night about 6:30 p.m., CNN reported that Ben was not going from Iowa to New Hampshire or South Carolina, rather he was ‘taking a break’ from campaigning. They reported that on television, CNN’s political anchors … said it was ‘highly unusual’ and ‘highly significant.’ My political team saw CNN’s report … and they forwarded that news to our volunteers.
At the time, I was at the caucuses. … I knew nothing about this. Couple hours later, I found out about it, I was told that Ben was unhappy. I called him that evening because I respect him very, very highly. I didn’t reach him that evening. I reached him the next day and I apologized.
I regret that subsequently, CNN reported on that, they didn’t correct that story until 9:15 that night. … Subsequent to that initial report, Ben’s campaign put out a statement saying that he was not suspending his campaign. I wish that our campaign staff had forwarded that statement. They were unaware of it.
But it didn’t end there. Carson responded to Cruz’s explanation that made some heads shake:
In fact, the time line indicates that initial tweet from CNN was followed by another one within one minute that clarified that I was not dropping out. So, what happened to that one, it is unclear. But the bottom line is, we can see what happened, everybody can see what happened and you can make your own judgment.
Cruz’s campaign actually made telemarketing phone calls to Iowa residents telling them Carson dropped out and to vote for Cruz. It was more than letting volunteers know this.