Remember the supposed rumor about Ben Carson dropping out after Iowa that Ted Cruz started? And the media went crazy screaming about “ethics.”
It turns out there was a huge ethics problem but it wasn’t Ted Cruz’ problem. Here’s what CNN had to say just hours before the caucuses started:
Tapper: “It’s very unusual, to announce that you’re going home to rest for a few days, not going on to the next site.”
Bash: “Very unusual…Look, if you want to be president of the United States, you don’t go home to Florida. That’s just bottom line, that’s the end of the story. If you want to signal to your supporters that you’re hungry, that you want them to get out and campaign, you have to get out there too, it’s very unusual.”
Tapper: “Very unusual.”
Wolf Blitzer: “Very significant news indeed.”
CNN then tweeted: “After the #IACaucus, @RealBenCarson plans to take a break from campaigning.”
Here’s what Cruz said during the debate when the question came up:
Let me tell you the facts of what occurred for those who are interested in knowing. On Monday night, about 6:30 p.m., CNN reported that Ben was not going from Iowa to New Hampshire or South Carolina. Rather, he was, quote, “Taking a break from campaigning.” They reported that on television, CNN’s political anchors, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer, said it was highly unusual and highly significant. My political team saw CNN’s report breaking news and they forwarded that news to our volunteers, it was being covered on live television…. I regret that subsequently, CNN reported on that — they didn’t correct that story until 9:15 p.m. that night. So from 6:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., that’s what CNN was reporting. Subsequent to that initial report, Ben’s campaign put out a statement saying that he was not suspending his campaign. I wish that our campaign staff had forwarded that statement. They were unaware of it, I wish that they had, that’s why I apologized.
In other words, Cruz’ campaign relied on the CNN report that Carson was dropping out after Iowa. Carson didn’t cover himself in glory on this story, he insisted that CNN issued a walkback and that Cruz ran with the original information to hurt Carson. He patiently ignored the fact that the Cruz campaign specifically credited CNN with the information in their literature.
Carson is now effectively out of the campaign, just as CNN hinted at and Cruz repeated. He’s not in New Hampshire and he’s fired half of his staff. He just hasn’t bothered to make the announcement yet.
Shame on you Ben Carson, we thought you were a better man.
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