While not calling for a do over of the Iowa caucuses like Donald Trump did, Ben Carson is not going quietly into the good night after “dirty tricks” by the Ted Cruz campaign. Carson who has carved out a nice and lucrative career for himself by appealing to evangelicals is furious over rumors spread by Cruz operatives that he was dropping out of the presidential race that may have influenced the decision of Iowa voters in Monday’s caucuses.
Carson who is a good Christian man was disturbed to the point of invoking bible scripture against the victorious Cruz, essentially calling him a false prophet and a bearer of poison fruit and discouraging evangelicals from backing the Iowa winner. It does appear that the Cruz campaign did intentionally distort a Carson communique that he was skipping the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries to put out a caucus night message that the good Doctor had dropped out of the race. Whether this is truly a dirty trick or just plain old politics is open to interpretation but Carson remains pissed off big time.
Politico reports on the normally mild-mannered doctor’s agitated state in the story“The fury of Ben Carson”:
The candidate and his flailing campaign look consumed with one thing: Making Ted Cruz pay for ‘dirty tricks’ in Iowa.
Five days from the New Hampshire primary, Ben Carson has yet to set foot in this state since his fourth-place finish in Iowa. His detour to Florida for a fresh set of clothes has become a running joke online. The candidate is, by all indications, consumed by what he calls the “dirty tricks” of Ted Cruz’s campaign.
“Dr. Carson feels absolutely robbed, violated,” said Armstrong Williams, a Carson confidant, in a phone interview. “He realizes, the Democrats are not his enemies trying to malign him. It’s people who smile in his face, shake his hand, go out to dinner with him — and yet, they’re trying to destroy him behind his back.”
Carson was fading before Iowa, and an exit from the race after Monday’s caucuses was not a farfetched scenario. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported he’s cutting staff and salaries to rein in exorbitant campaign spending. But the Cruz episode has given Carson renewed purpose, and he now looks determined to spend whatever time he has left in the campaign making the Texan pay.
Combined with Donald Trump’s loud and repeated claims that Cruz stole Iowa, Carson’s efforts could keep his flailing campaign relevant — if only by keeping the heat on Cruz.
Williams, who said he’s spoken to Carson since the voting in Iowa, described him as more motivated than ever to call out the Texas senator. Carson has pointed to several messages disseminated by the Cruz campaign. They included a tweet by top surrogate Steve King and an email from Cruz Iowa staffer Spence Rogers that strongly suggested Carson would imminently drop out of the race, just as the caucuses were getting underway in Iowa, thus prompting potential Carson voters to back Cruz instead.
Cruz has apologized to Carson. But until Cruz fires the perpetrators — he has indicated that that would happen — he’s as complicit as any of them, Carson said. The issue could emerge as a focal point of Saturday’s presidential debate here.
By all indications Saturday night’s debate could become a real throw down. Between Carson’s looming confrontation with Cruz over Iowa – Trump will surely join in the tag team – there will be a furious assault by the establishment candidates about to get voted off the island on the already anointed winner of the neocon-Wall Street-Chamber of Commerce lottery Marco Rubio. With Carson having reportedly just dumping 50 staffers it could also be his last stand – one in which he finally gets to channel those inner demons that once drove him to allegedly attack his own mother with a hammer.
The debate will take place Saturday night in Manchester, New Hampshire.