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Republican Cruz Apologizes For Email Implying Carson Might Exit Race

Campaign 2016 Politics Reuters Top News

Republican Cruz Apologizes For Email Implying Carson Might Exit Race


By Megan Cassella

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz apologized to Ben Carson on Tuesday over an email his campaign sent on Monday night that implied Carson was about to drop out of the race and that his Iowa backers should be urged to vote for Cruz instead.

A staffer for Cruz sent the email after rumors began circulating that Carson would return to Florida following Iowa’s caucuses on Monday rather than go straight to New Hampshire or South Carolina, other early voting states in the state-by-state nominating contests for the Nov. 8 election.

“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,” the email read, according to CNN.

“Please inform any Carson caucusgoers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted Cruz.”

Carson said he was simply leaving Iowa to avoid a winter storm and to get fresh clothes before continuing his campaign on Wednesday.

The retired neurosurgeon, who said his fourth-place performance in Iowa would have been better had the email never been sent, criticized the move as “a dirty trick” and said the Cruz campaign should face some kind of consequences.

“What this does is makes me more determined than ever to try to save our country,” Carson said on Fox News on Tuesday.

In an apology released on Tuesday afternoon, Cruz, who won the Iowa Republican caucuses, categorized the email as a regular update the campaign would send to grassroots leaders. But the U.S. senator from Texas acknowledged another email should have been sent once Carson clarified he was not dropping out.

“This was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson,” Cruz wrote.

Carson accepted the apology, his communications director, A. Larry Ross, said in a statement later on Tuesday.

“This incident further demonstrates that we need an individual who is not a politician to lead and to heal our nation, not someone driven by ambition,” Ross said, adding that Carson would continue his campaign in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he would not interfere in the situation.

“You take them at their word for it, and you move on to the next state,” he said on CNN.

The question remains whether the dispute will hurt Cruz, a favorite of conservative evangelicals looking to win over Carson supporters should Carson drop out.

Dartmouth University political scientist Linda Fowler said it could hurt Cruz if other candidates start to pick up on the interaction and say: “There’s a reason why nobody likes Ted Cruz, and here it is.”

(Reporting by Megan Cassella, Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Peter Cooney and Cynthia Osterman)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi speak to the press aboard a plane en route to a campaign event in Piedmont, South Carolina February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer



  1. Dominick Vila February 3, 2016

    I hate to agree with anything Senor Eduardo “Ted” Cruz says, but Dr. Carson’s decision to skip New Hampshire and go to Florida to buy clothes is more than just questionable. It could be that Carson gave up on NH and thinks his brand of evangelical conservatism may resonate better in Southern states, but most politicians don’t skip a political fight because it is too hard, or because the outcome is likely to be against him/her. The real question is which Republicans will remain in the race after South Carolina? I would not be surprised if at least half of the GOP field of candidates drops out, and only four or five remain in the race for the long haul.

    1. Grannysmovin February 3, 2016

      Sorry, I disagree, I think Cruz and his cronies acted with malice and deliberate intent.

      1. I of John February 3, 2016

        Cruz is drenched in malice. It does not mean his jabs at Carson are totally off though.

      2. plc97477 February 3, 2016

        I firmly believe that every breath cruz takes is done with malice and deliberate intent.

    2. dpaano February 3, 2016

      I think Fiorina is on her way out already, and Jeb Bush and Christie aren’t too far behind.

  2. docb February 3, 2016

    JoMac cruz apologizes for getting CAUGHT…Nasty piece of Dominonist trash that he is…

  3. stcroixcarp February 3, 2016

    The vote in Iowa proved that hard core white republicans, while verbally embracing a black candidate to prove they are not racist, simply cannot bring themselves to vote for a black man.

    1. I am vey tired of your kind of Bull Sh-t ! it just gets old after awhile !
      Thomas M. Thompson

      1. CrankyToo February 3, 2016

        There’s a cure for that, Thom-Thom – DON’T READ HIS/HER POSTS!

    2. The lucky one February 3, 2016

      While it seems to be true that “hard core white republicans” are racist all the Iowa caucus proves is that those with the biggest mouths saying the craziest things get the most attention. It also shows that the polls that Cruz and Trump lead don’t mean much. The shadow that Ted and Donnie saw Tuesday morning wasn’t a woodchuck, it was Marco Rubio, well maybe he is a woodchuck but you know what i mean.

    3. itsfun February 3, 2016

      Just keep playing the good ole race card. If a black person loses a election its only because of racism has ran out of steam.

    4. Grannysmovin February 3, 2016

      This is about hate, fear, intolerance and them wanting a Theocracy government. They want to ignore the 1st Amendment and have Cruz or someone like him have congress put forth laws that will make things their faith does not accept as illegal. Examples, abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, pre-marital sex, contraceptives, the practice of any religion that is not considered Christianity. That would be a violation of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of”

      1. dpaano February 3, 2016

        Yeah, it sounds a lot like the Republicans want to become the US version of the Taliban or ISIS…..they want ONE religion, much like the Muslims want one religion. I don’t see ANY difference between the GOP nominees and the middle eastern terrorists, especially when it comes to religion! For some reason, they don’t seem to read the Constitution and realize that we have freedom of religion here in the U.S. and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon without a major rebellion!

  4. FT66 February 3, 2016

    Cruz said last week that he will use any tool he can in order to win. It seems even hurting his fellow contenders with an intent. This kind of behavior is not accepted in any civilised society.

    1. CrankyToo February 3, 2016

      What’s being civilized got to do with being Republican? There’s no nexus – certainly not in Texas.

  5. Robert Eckert February 3, 2016

    From another board: “Why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz?” — “Because it saves time.”

  6. jakenhyde February 3, 2016

    Too late Teddy. Cat’s out of the bag and he’ll fight like hell to keep from getting stuffed back in there. Republican sleaze is all around us. It just keeps bubbling to the surface.

  7. Magnus Thunderson February 3, 2016

    He make a horrible president as even the GOP in his own senate hate him and many of the GOP also hate him as he does not mind flat out lying to make a point

  8. Nick February 3, 2016

    This shows how dirty Cruz is. Something must be done to him for this. If the party wants to make this right for all candidates and the voters they should remove one of his delegates that he won in Iowa. This will help the republican party to be even stronger over any democrat.

    1. dpaano February 3, 2016

      I really don’t care WHO won…..I’m just glad that Trump lost!! None of the GOP nominees have a chance to win in the general election!!!

  9. bobnstuff February 3, 2016

    If Carson had people supporting him at the caucus then they would have straightened out things so the real number of votes lost shouldn’t be that great. How many Carson followers get Cruz’s tweets?

  10. johninPCFL February 3, 2016

    So Cruz won because he lied to Carson’s supporters and siphoned off enough votes to edge out Trump. Is anyone surprised?

  11. dpaano February 3, 2016

    Cruz is a typical lying Republican…..apologizing AFTER the fact is ridiculous! The damage was done!

  12. Eden Keel February 3, 2016

    cruz is a cheat he cheated 4 years ago changed status on committee to benefit him only does not surprise me he is a whore doing anything to win


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