I didn’t want to write about this, but one of my Democrat co-workers who is always pestering me with any misstep by my favorite candidates (Jindal, Walker, Cruz) brought it up. I doubt he knows what the national debt is, but he is always very aware of all the latest nit-picky issues. Anyway, here we go with the post I did not want to write, and thanks to my friend Kris (who is not my evil co-worker) for encouraging me to write it.
So everyone knows the story. A staffer on the Cruz campaign sent out a message saying that Carson was going to be returning to Florida and skipping New Hampshire and South Carolina. The staffer forwarded this message to Cruz caucus-goers, and they used it to appeal to Carson supporters to vote for Cruz. So where did the story originate? Did the nasty Cruz campaign make it up?
No, it came from CNN.
Here’s the post from Breitbart News containing the timeline, with screenshots of CNN tweets and videos of CNN anchors.
Breitbart says this:
The following is a definitive timeline of events on Monday night. All times are local Iowa time–i.e. Central Standard Time (CST).
6:41-6:43 p.m. CNN’s Chris Moody tweets news about Ben Carson (three tweets)
The part we care about is this:
No word about where the story came from, but the source seems to be Ben Carson, or someone representing his campaign. How else would Chris Moody get this information except from the campaign itself? And that would mean that Carson, who has never run for office before and has a disorganized campaign, just made a mistake. Or someone on his campaign staff did.
Anyway, at 6:44 PM Iowa local time, CNN anchors ran with the story next, based on the tweet of their “Senior Reporter”:
And here’s the transcript:
Tapper: Thanks, Wolf. Well, CNN has learned some news about the man who, at least according to polls, is in fourth place here in Iowa. Now, Dana, a week from tomorrow, we’re all going to be doing this again for the New Hampshire primary. So almost every single candidate is going to be going directly from here to New Hampshire to campaign–except for the man in fourth place, who a few months ago was in first place here, Dr. Ben Carson. What have we learned?
Bash: That’s right. We should say that our Chris Moody is breaking this news, that Ben Carson is going to go back to Florida, to his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa. He’s going to go there for several days. And then afterwards, he’s not going to go to South Carolina. He’s not going to go to New Hampshire. He’s going to come to Washington, D.C., and he’s going to do that because the National Prayer Breakfast is on Thursday. And people who have been following Ben Carson’s career know that that’s really where he got himself on the political map, attending that prayer breakfast, and really giving it to President Obama at the time. And he became kind of a hero among conservatives, among evangelicals especially.
Tapper: But it’s very unusual–
Bash: Very unusual.
Tapper: –to be announcing that you’re going to go home to rest for a few days, not going on to the next site. Plus, he’s already announced that he’s going to be coming out and speaking at 9:15 local and 10:15 Eastern, no matter whether or not we know the results, because he wants to get home and get ahead of the storm.
Bash: Look, if you want to be President of the United States, you don’t go home to Florida. I mean, that’s bottom line. That’s the end of the story. If you want to signal to your supporters that you want it, that you’re hungry for it, that you want them to get out and and campaign, you’ve got to be out there doing it too. And he’s not doing it. it’s very unusual.
Tapper: Very unusual news that CNN has just learned. CNN’s Chris Moody breaking the story. Wolf, back to you in Washington.
This was reported 16 minutes before the caucuses began. There is a ticker in the CNN video above. This was the origin of the story. The story did not originate with the Cruz campaign, it originated with the radical leftists on CNN.
Carson later tweeted that he was NOT suspending his campaign, that he was going home to Florida to “get fresh clothes”. Oh yes, I always fly home to get fresh clothes. It is just a ridiculous thing to say. It is not at all clear that the Cruz or Rubio campaigns SAW this tweet, which happened at 6:53 PM – their e-mail to their campaign workers came out a mere three minutes later.
In any case, at 6:56 PM, the Cruz campaign e-mails supporters what was reported on CNN, that Carson was “taking time off from the campaign trail”.
So, that’s how it went down, and as you can see, Cruz is innocent, and so is his staff. The guilty party is CNN for running the story that Carson had to correct for them. But before CNN could correct their mistake, the Cruz campaign had already acted on the CNN story. CNN didn’t even try to correct the story until after the Cruz campaign had sent out their messages. CNN did clarify their initial report, but much much later, around 7:30 PM. And this 7:30 PM tweet was the FIRST clarification that the Cruz campaign saw.
By the way, the only report that I have seen about the source of the rumor reported by CNN links the rumor to the MARCO RUBIO campaign, and you can read about that here. The tweet from the Rubio supporter has since been deleted, but the screenshot survives in the post I linked above.
Finally, one last thing. Cruz, being the man who stood up to big ethanol in Iowa and won, has already proved his integrity and character. But there’s more. The most obvious thing to do in the face of a made-up scandal like this is to pick a low-level staffer and punish them. But Cruz looked at the facts that I wrote above, and decided to stick by his staffer. This man always does the right thing – it’s like he doesn’t even care what happens to his whole campaign so long as he does the moral thing. And this is being noticed. Here is a post by a Trump supporter who switched his vote to Cruz, based on Cruz’s decision to stand by his innocent campaign staff.
If you like honor, Ted Cruz is your guy. I’m not going to regret supporting this guy.