The Truth For Ben Carson

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Following Ted Cruz’s win at the Iowa Caucuses, Ben Carson came out accusing the Cruz campaign of “dirty tricks,” after they had urged Carson voters to caucus for Cruz.  Today, social media and the blogosphere are rife with accusations that Cruz “cheated” to get his win in Iowa.

But what really happened?

A CNN reporter that was following Ben Carson tweeted that Carson would be skipping New Hampshire and South Carolina, and instead would head home to Florida following the caucuses.  This was re-tweeted by Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has played a crucial role in Ted Cruz’s Iowa campaign:

 

 

Image capture, in case the above tweets get deleted:

SteveKing

CNN was also reporting that Carson “plans to take a break from campaigning.”

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Rumors circulate fast during campaign season, and especially so with a so-called “respectable” media outlet like CNN pushing the report.  Based on these reports, it was not unreasonable to conclude that Carson would soon be out – while he was rising in the polls at one point, the media attacked him, and then largely ignored him, effectively ending his rise.  Add in the fact that Carson had already suspended his campaign twice – once to go on a book signing tour, and again after a tragic automobile accident involving some of his campaign staff, and it’s easy to see why Carson’s campaign has been struggling.  There were even some reports over the last several weeks that some of Carson’s staff in New Hampshire had left to work for the Cruz campaign.  Keeping the momentum going is critically important in a primary campaign, so for Carson to head home instead of campaigning in New Hampshire or South Carolina could be the death knell for his campaign…if not for the controversy it inspired, which has put Carson’s name back into the headlines.

Another thing that has been going on for a couple of weeks now is that Ted Cruz has been working to strategically position himself to challenge Donald Trump in Iowa.  Trump has talked a big game, and a loss in Iowa is a key first step to stopping his momentum.  Cruz had been encouraging people to caucus for him, even if he isn’t their #1 candidate, in an effort to ensure that Trump doesn’t become unstoppable after an Iowa win – with ten candidates in the field, uniting behind one conservative is the key to stopping a progressive like Donald Trump – and wooing other candidates’ prospective voters is what the caucus process is all about.

So upon hearing the news about Carson from CNN, Cruz’s campaign sent a message out to their staff that they should go to work to get some of Carson’s voters:

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Image from the Ted Cruz campaign app.

As the rumor mill was churning, Carson and his campaign clarified that Carson was heading to Florida to “get fresh clothes,” and then would be back out on the campaign trail (apparently, there’s a shortage of dry cleaners in Iowa and New Hampshire):

Capture

But by the time the clarification was issued, the rumor mill was already in full swing, the caucuses were underway, and any damage had already been done.

And CNN, of course, is reporting on the story today as though they had no role in it.

 

The real moral of this story?  Be careful when talking to the press.  Carson is leveling all kinds of scurrilous accusations at Cruz and his campaign, but the entire incident stemmed from Carson telling the media he was taking a break from the campaign – which, in the early primaries, really means that the game is over.  It was a rookie mistake, but the anti-Cruz media are all too happy to use it against the conservative they love to hate.

 

UPDATE: Here is video of CNN talking heads hinting that Carson might drop out – 15 minutes before the start of the caucuses.

 

 

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