Ted Cruz has taken a lot of flack for telling Iowa voters that his competitor Ben Carson dropped out of the GOP primaries, and using his volunteers to spread the erroneous information in the midst of the caucuses. To add insult to injury, the surprising Iowa GOP frontrunner then blamed CNN for his campaign’s fallacy during Saturday’s GOP debate. Unfortunately for Ted Cruz, CNN wasted no time in calling him out, posting a headline that he’d “knowingly misstated” CNN’s reporting during the debate.
“What Senator Cruz said tonight in the debate is categorically false. CNN never corrected its reporting because CNN never had anything to correct. The Cruz campaign’s actions the night of the Iowa caucuses had nothing to do with CNN’s reporting. The fact that Senator Cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing.”
During Saturday’s GOP debate, Senator Cruz blamed CNN’s reporting for the message sent to his supporters by members of his campaign staff. The message? That rival Ben Carson was going to suspend his presidential campaign. During the debate, Ted Cruz laid the blame for the false information his campaign spread to potential voters on the night of the Iowa caucus squarely on the shoulders of CNN.
“My political team saw CNN’s report breaking news and they forwarded that news to our volunteers, it was being covered on live television.”
Ted Cruz went on to falsely claim that the news giant “inaccurately reported” that Carson was going to be suspending his campaign for almost three hours, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., all in the midst of Iowa primary voting. It’s worth noting that Senator Cruz would go on to win that primary with over 27 percent of the vote in a stunning and unexpected victory. In the email sent out by the Ted Cruz campaign, caucus goers were urged to use their votes for Cruz rather than Carson, based on the false claim.
“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 and Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Cruz.”
During Saturday’s debate, Senator Ted Cruz also accused CNN of not issuing a correction of what he called the network’s “inaccurate reporting” until “9:15 that night.”
CNN is reporting that Ted Cruz’s allegation of inaccurate reporting are completely false, releasing an article entitled “Ted Cruz is wrong about CNN’s reporting.” Dylan Byers, the author of the piece, also stated that “CNN never reported that Carson was suspending his campaign and never issued a correction, because there was no need to do so.”
This isn’t the first time the Ted Cruz campaign has been caught up in making false claims to potential voters. Senator Cruz and his campaign coordinators took a lot of heat for some fraudulent mailers that were sent out to potential voters just prior to the Iowa caucuses. The New Yorker reports that those mailers were not just fraudulent, they were “more fraudulent than everyone thinks.”
The mailers, sent out by the Ted Cruz campaign, used “social pressure techniques” to shame voters into turning up to cast their ballot. The were headed with the words “VOTING VIOLATION,” and they told potential voters that their voting records, as well as those of their neighbors, were a matter of public record, were low, and could be raised if only the voter showed up to the caucuses on February 1.
The Ted Cruz mailers incited enough controversy that Iowa’s Secretary of State Paul Pate even got into the fray, issuing a statement that slammed Senator Cruz’s fraudulent campaign tactic. According to reports, Secretary Pate was most concerned that Ted Cruz had deliberately disguised his fraudulent mailers in such a manner that they appeared to be official communication sent out from the State of Iowa.
“Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law. Accusing citizens of Iowa of a ‘voting violation’ based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act. There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.”
Despite being blasted by the Iowa Secretary of State, Ted Cruz refused to back down or apologize for the mailers, saying “I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote.”
Ben Carson ultimately came in 4th in Iowa, with just over 9 percent of the vote. When the news broke on caucus night that Ted Cruz and his campaign had lied to voters about Carson’s plans to drop out, the Carson campaign responded with good nature and downplayed the questionable campaign tactics of the Ted Cruz campaign. The following morning, however, Dr. Carson publicly called Ted Cruz’s actions “dirty tricks.”
As the media discovers more facts surrounding Ted Cruz's campaign resorting to dirty tricks, even they are appalled.https://t.co/sOieTvJy8o— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) February 5, 2016
While Ted Cruz continues to blame CNN for his inaccurate statements about Ben Carson suspending his presidential bid, the senator has apologized to his rival. Twice. Senator Ted Cruz issued an apology to Carson the day after the Iowa caucuses. In addition, Cruz apologized in person during Saturday’s GOP debate, reports the Huffington Post. During the debate, which fell on what would have been President Ronald Reagan’s 105th birthday, Carson quoted the former republican president’s “eleventh commandment,” which was “Thou shall not speak ill of thy fellow Republican,” while addressing what CNN referred to as the “knowingly misstated” claims of Ted Cruz and his campaign.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]