Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson cites the Gospel of Matthew, saying that when it comes to his political opponents, “by their fruit you will know them.”
“I hope you will judge all the people running for this position by the same standards,” he said at the National Press Club, refusing to say to reporters whether he was referring directly to Ted Cruz.
When pressed by reporters, however, Carson explained that it was clear what happened in Iowa, where members of Cruz’s campaign sent a message to caucus supporters hinting that Carson might be dropping out of the race.
“It’s clear that there were people who tried to take advantage of a situation who tried to distort information there’s no question about that,” Carson said.
Carson confirmed he spoke with Cruz about what happened and would wait to see what actions the senator would take.
“Sen. Cruz told me that he was not aware of that when I talked to him and he did not agree with that kind of thing … and we’ll wait to see what he does to demonstrate that,” Carson said.
Carson reminded reporters that he’s fired members of his own campaign for behaving badly.
He confirmed that he thinks Cruz’s tactics affected his caucus results in Iowa. pointing out that he got a lot of “intelligence” on the ground that suggested that he would do better than expected.
“I don’t think we can say what the outcome is,” he said, suggesting that he would want Cruz to hold someone to account, instead of letting it be “swept under the rug.”
Carson said he bases his decision on whether or not to stay in the presidential race based on the the size and strength of his campaign, crowds, donations, and social media.
“I will continue to be a voice as long as I feel that that is the case,” he said.