There are a couple of YouTube videos that feature the audio of Ted Cruz’s campaign reporting that Ben Carson is suspending his campaign that are going viral. Listen below as the Cruz campaign claims Carson is set to drop out of the presidential race.
As reported by CNN, Ted’s campaign workers made the calls to precinct captains in Iowa, which reflect what Cruz’s campaign claimed was a call to let them know Ben was “suspending campaigning” and that caucus-goers should vote for Ted instead.
It’s the kind of dirty politics that Donald Trump alluded to after he came in second to Cruz. Ted’s precinct captain — a woman named Nancy Bliesman — claimed she got the voicemails on Monday evening, which passed on the news that Carson was supposedly exiting the campaign. Although some portions of the voicemails are hard to decipher, the messages in both are clear: Ben is out and Cruz is still in, so sway caucus attendees to vote for Cruz.
“Dr. Ben Carson will be…suspending campaigning following tonight’s caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucusgoers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead. It has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail, so it is very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight, uh, that they not waste a vote on Ben Carson, and vote for Ted Cruz.”
With messages like that being received, reportedly from people claiming to represent the Cruz campaign staff, it’s easy to see why Carson’s numbers may have been so low in Iowa. No one would likely want to waste a vote on a presidential candidate they believed was on their way out.
As reported by Breitbart News initially, the Cruz campaign voicemails about Carson are going viral as Bliesman told CNN that they are indeed voicemails that were validly received. Although Ben planned to continue his presidential bid, Carson did plan to travel home to Florida prior to visiting New Hampshire and South Carolina. The confusing news that Carson was on his way home was allegedly used by Cruz supporters to try and sway Ben’s supporters away from Carson — without telling them that Carson planned to remain in the presidential running. Meanwhile, Catherine Frazier, a spokesperson for Cruz, said that Ted is sorry that there was confusion over Ben’s traveling intentions, and claimed that since Ted did so well in Iowa, the voicemails shouldn’t have made a difference — and that they reportedly reflected what was known at the time about Ben.
“The senator has already apologized for not more quickly making that clarification, and there is no evidence that our sharing of this news story impacted Carson’s campaign — he well outperformed expectations. The voicemails are in line with the reports that were made at that time.”
The Cruz campaign voicemails claiming Carson was dropping out of the race came after Ben had already clarified he wasn’t suspending his campaign, reports Breitbart News. Yet and still, those Cruz campaign voicemails heard above came in to Crawford County, Iowa, beginning at 7:07 p.m.
So much controversy exists over the Iowa results that the Des Moines Register has called for an audit, reports Politico. Not only is there controversy over the caucus night rumors that Dr. Carson was going to drop out, but there’s also controversy between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Cruz camp voicemail said Carson was "suspending campaigning" https://t.co/Rkh1ie6WaZ Cruz voter reported vm & told me it was a dirty trick
— Athena Jones (@AthenaCNN) February 4, 2016
According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa is being laughed at worldwide, due to questions about Clinton’s barely there victory over Sanders.
“Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems. Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night’s chaos. The Iowa Democratic Party must act quickly to assure the accuracy of the caucus results, beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
Sanders called the Iowa caucus complicated. Meanwhile, Cruz claimed Donald Trump’s complaints about Cruz’s shady victory were just a “Trumpertantrum.”
— The Hill (@thehill) February 5, 2016
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)