Cruz Campaign Accused of Spreading Carson Drop-Out Rumors Before Iowa Vote

Following Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz’s victory in Monday’s Iowa Caucuses, rival candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has cried foul.

Ben Carson told Fox & Friends in the above-embedded video, “Well, you know, at many of the precincts information was disseminated [by the Cruz campaign] that I was suspending my campaign, that I had dropped out, and that anybody who was planning to vote for me was wasting their vote and therefore they should reconsider.

[RELATED: Iowa Sec. of State Chides Ted Cruz for Sending ‘Voting Violation’ Mailers to Voters]

Carson also referenced a below-embedded tweet by Cruz supporter and Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King, which was posted while voting was still underway on Monday.

Truth in Media obtained a copy of an email distributed by the Cruz campaign, which can be seen below.


The Cruz campaign maintains that it was merely passing along media reports. A below-embedded tweet by CNN’s The Lead includes video from election night coverage that did seem to imply that Carson might be ending his campaign.

However, the Chris Moody report that CNN was referencing also included specific information that Carson was not dropping out, which was de-emphasized in CNN’s coverage.

Minutes later, PBS NewsHour reporter Lisa Desjardins tweeted a Carson campaign clarification about the miscommunication over his decision not to head to New Hampshire after Iowa.

Describing the email that was sent by the Cruz campaign, Iowa Cruz volunteer Joel Kurtinitis wrote on Facebook, “CNN was indeed reporting that Carson was taking a break after Iowa, which is exactly what was said here. And just to be safe, it even adds the ‘being reported’ disclaimer… I didn’t even see the email until we got home last night, and given that it was sent at 6:56, that’s probably the case for most folks. If some precinct captains misunderstood or misrepresented this, it’s on them. It’s mathematically certain, though, that this made exactly zero difference in the outcome of the race, even if a hundred [precinct captains] used it.

[RELATED: Flier Circulates Offering Voters ‘Fast Cash’ to Fill Seats at Jeb Bush Rally]

Those investigating this teapot tempest should simply judge the email objectively, by what was written. The press was indeed reporting that Dr. Carson was taking time off after the caucuses, which was accurately reflected in the email,” added Kurtinitis. “Despite unquantifiable accusations of ‘hinting’ or ‘insinuating,’ it is evident that the Cruz campaign simply repeated the report, as a report, and asked their precinct folks to pass the news.

Carson said according to Time, “So, I just want you to know I’m not going anywhere. And, you know, this latest set of dirty tricks just intensifies my desire to work extremely hard to break down the ugliness in this system and bring it back to we the people with we the people at the pinnacle and the government below us to facilitate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

CNN reported that Ted Cruz later apologized to Carson. “Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story,” Cruz said a statement according to CNN. “That’s fair game. What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.”

For more election coverage, click here.