While suspicions of fraud, along with confirmed irregularities, abound on the Democrat side of last night’s Iowa caucuses, the GOP side of things seemed to go relatively smoothly.
With one possible exception.
GOP candidate Ben Carson accused the campaign of fellow candidate Ted Cruz of a “dirty trick.” Carson charged that Cruz staffers falsely told Iowa caucusers to support the Texas senator because the retired neurosurgeon was planning on quitting the race.
“If Ted Cruz doesn’t know about this, then he clearly needs to very quickly get rid of some people in his organization,” Carson said on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “And if he does know about it, isn’t this the exact kind of thing that the American people are tired of? Why would we want to continue with that kind of shenanigan?”
Can’t argue with that.
This afternoon, Ted Cruz responded to Carson’s allegations with a public apology.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz apologized for his campaign’s statements made on the day of the Iowa caucus strongly implying that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race.
Carson strongly condemned the tactic Tuesday morning, calling it a “dirty trick,” and Cruz spokesman Rick Taylor got an earful from MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski for it. In response, the Cruz campaign issued a public apology to CNN.
Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated the grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story. That’s fair game. What the team should have done is send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.
That was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson.
Watch for yourself:
And here is Cruz himself speaking about the incident on Fox:
Incidentally, this was the CNN report that appeared to have started it all:
Putting aside the candidates themselves for a moment — whether you’re a Carson or a Cruz fan or back someone else altogether — I sincerely hope this was indeed an honest mistake as Cruz is suggesting. Let’s leave the dirty politics to the Democrats. And, please, let’s stop the circular firing squad amongst the GOP — let’s keep that focus on the Democrats where it belongs.
So, what do y’all think? Do you accept Ted Cruz’s apology?
UPDATE: Even as this story was being posted, Dr. Ben Carson is coming out and declaring that Cruz’s apology is not enough and that someone should be fired for it.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]