Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is showing no signs of slowing his criticism of Senator Ted Cruz over hard-edged tactics employed during the recent Iowa Caucuses.
Carson confidant Armstrong Williams is leading some of the attacks, while suggesting Carson will raise the issue at the upcoming Feb. 6 New Hampshire GOP debate. According to Politico,
“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.”
“We are not going to sit by and allow Cruz to lie, manipulate and be unwilling to fire everybody and just issue an apology and in Kumbaya,” Williams said. “This has been their tactic and we’ve said nothing. Here, there’s no turning back. Dr. Carson has never said anything unkind about Ted Cruz … for Cruz to do this to him is unacceptable.”
The intensifying squabble has overshadowed what already has been an unusual week for Carson, marked by questions about his absence from public campaign events since Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
The issue has been boiling all day and earlier Breitbart News released exclusive recordings of audio of the Cruz campaign spreading word that Carson was suspending his cmaapign, which was not the case.
New audio obtained exclusively by Breitbart News indicates that as the Iowa caucuses began on Monday night, the Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) campaign called precinct captains informing them that Dr. Ben Carson was suspending campaigning, and instructing them to tell voters they should “not waste a vote on Ben Carson and vote for Ted Cruz.”
Breitbart also posted a definitive timeline of events in and around the incident. While it remains unclear to what, if any extent the flap altered any voting – and Carson did announce he would be leaving Iowa before the final votes were cast, the issue seems far from over as Casron is said to be intent on hammering Cruz for it as long as he can, now.
In fact, the Cruz campaign’s messages to activists were sent after the Carson campaign had already clarified that Carson was not dropping out.
However, it is not clear that the messages affected the final result: Carson actually out-performed his poll average by 1.6%.
The following is a definitive timeline of events on Monday night. All times are local Iowa time–i.e. Central Standard Time (CST).