Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has accused his arch-rival Senator Ted Cruz of stealing the Iowa caucuses. Trump accused Cruz of “illegally stealing” the Iowa caucuses and called for “either a new election” or the nullification of the results.
Trump, who placed second to Cruz in Monday’s Iowa caucuses, called for a “new election” or the nullification of the results in a series of tweets Wednesday morning. According to Trump, there should be new election because Cruz’s campaign deliberately spread false rumors that influenced voter decisions at the last moment.
“Ted Cruz did not win Iowa, he illegally stole it. That is why all the polls are so wrong and why he got more votes than anticipated.”
The final edited message read, “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated.”
Trump’s statement that fraudulent misrepresentation by Cruz campaign was the reason “why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated” was in reference to the fact that a key poll ahead of Monday’s voting had placed Trump five percentage points ahead of Cruz who ended up winning by 4 percentage points.
Trump also referred to allegations by Ben Carson’s campaign that Cruz campaign spread a false message among Iowa caucus-goers that the retired neurosurgeon was quitting the race. Cruz campaign spread the information hoping that Carson’s supporters would switch to the Texas senator.
Before Trump’s tweets on Wednesday, Cruz apologized to Carson for the action attributed to one of its staffers, identified as Spence Rogers. According to Cruz, the campaign staff had seen a CNN report that appeared to say that Carson was dropping out and simply passed the message around.
But CNN has denied that its report implied that Carson was dropping out.
According to CNN, the Cruz campaign’s email claimed that the “press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week. Please inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted Cruz.”
Carson harshly criticized Cruz campaign for spreading misleading information. He characterized it as “[s]hameless tactics and dirty political plays.”
“There is no place for this kind of behavior,” he added.
Trump went on to accuse Cruz of “fraud,” because his campaign sent out mailers alleging that Iowans faced a “voter violation.”
He also accused him of lying to “thousands of caucus-goers that Trump was strongly in favor of ObamaCare.”
“And finally, Cruz strongly told thousands of caucusgoers (voters) that Trump was strongly in favor of ObamaCare and ‘choice’ — a total lie!” Trump tweeted.
“Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified,” Trump concluded.
Trump received strong criticism on social media over the tweets accusing Cruz of stealing Iowa caucuses. But his supporters defended their candidate, saying that his accusations against Cruz were accurate and justified.
Taking a cynical view of Trump’s allegations, the Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic wrote, “Trump is a master at sucking the oxygen out of the race by drawing attention to himself with new controversies. The Twitter rant is just one more example of this media strategy, particularly at a time when Cruz and Rubio are basking in the glow of their performances in Iowa.”
[Photo By Matt Rourke/AP]