Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz may have won the Iowa caucus on February 1, but it seems like there are some less-than-honorable means that might have led him to victory.
Cruz, 45, won the caucus in the U.S. state after getting 28 percent of the votes, while billionaire Donald Trump, 69, settled for second with 24 percent. Florida Senator Marco Rubio clinched the third spot with 23 percent.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 64, was way down at only nine percent of the total votes. It was quite strange for Carson’s campaign to get such low support when “internal intelligence” told him that he would do “extraordinarily well.”
This could mean that something fishy happened during caucus day in Iowa.
According to a report published by TIME, it appeared members of the Ted Cruz campaign spread rumors in caucus sites, claiming that Carson would not continue his presidential bid.
Here’s the Ben Carson smear email Ted Cruz’s campaign sent to staffers in Iowa. https://t.co/5z3oHQXuNB
— Gawker (@Gawker) February 3, 2016
Carson’s camp claims that Cruz’s campaign sent out emails to caucus sites, stating that Carson had dropped out and that they should just support other candidates.
“That is really quite a dirty trick,” Carson told reporters as early as Monday evening. “That’s the very kind of thing that irritated me enough to get into this quagmire.”
During a phone interview with Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning, Ben Carson criticized Ted Cruz for allowing such actions to take place during the caucuses.
He also added that, if Cruz indeed did not know about what his campaign had done, he should be ready to fire anyone who was involved.
Ben Carson Explains How the Ted Cruz Campaign “Cheated” During the Iowa Caucuses
“Like I said, if he didn’t know about this, he needs to get rid of the people who are responsible for that. I mean, that would be a high priority for me,” said the retired neurosurgeon.
On the other hand, Carson said that if Cruz knew about the actions done by his campaign, he should be brave enough to “come out, admit what he did” and offer a solution.
Meanwhile, Cruz’s campaign initially denied the accusations, stating that they were just reacting to what they previously heard about Carson, who said that he is planning to go to Florida after the Iowa caucus, and then move to Washington D.C. for the prayer breakfast.
Ted Cruz Allegedly Misinterpreted this CNN Report About Ben Carson
“And what that told us was he was not going to New Hampshire. That’s not a dirty trick,” said Rick Tyler, who is Cruz’s campaign communications director.
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, Ted Cruz said that they got ahold of the CNN post and reacted to it. However, they failed to confirm the news with Carson’s campaign. He also referred to the actions as a “mistake” by his campaign.
“This was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson,” the Texas senator said.
Ted Cruz Apologizes to Ben Carson for Misinformation
While Carson has reportedly accepted the apology, he said that it worries him that people in Cruz’s campaign are okay with distorting information and issues just to gain political advantage.
“As a Christian I will accept the apology but it doesn’t correct the problem,” he said. “And the question really is will there be any consequences for that.”
According to reports, Cruz’s campaign told precinct captains minutes before the caucus began that Carson was dropping out of the race and would not proceed to New Hampshire, where the next caucus will take place on February 9.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) February 2, 2016
In addition, several minutes after the caucuses began, Rep. Steve King, who is Cruz’s national co-chair in his campaign, retweeted CNN’s Chris Moody about the supposed break of Carson from his campaign trail.
As Ted Cruz apologizes to Ben Carson, some people may start questioning the Texas senator’s integrity and sincerity, which could hurt him in the next caucus. Meanwhile, Dr. Ben Carson has declared that he is definitely pushing forward with his campaign and candidacy.
[Images by Ethan Miller and Justin Sullivan, Getty Images]