Texas Senator Ted Cruz has been the subject of brutal attacks all day by the Dr. Ben Carson campaign and the media who are excoriating him for something reportedly done by a campaign staffer.
Prior to the beginning of the Iowa Caucus, CNN reporter Chris Moody tweeted that Dr. Carson was leaving the campaign trail to return to Florida for some R&R. He then said that Carson would be in Washington, D.C. for the National Prayer Breakfast, the event that put the renowned retired pediatric neurosurgeon on the political map in 2013 when he bashed Barack Obama’s policies, specifically Obamacare, during his speech.
The Cruz campaign is accused of intentionally using dirty tricks against Carson during the Iowa Caucus. Dr. Carson finished the night with just over nine-percent of the vote. Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus with 27.6% of the vote.
Carson accuses Cruz of intentionally trying to undermine his campaign due to the actions of a grassroots leader involved with his campaign. The issue has been framed by many in the media, and the Carson campaign, as Ted Cruz giving a direct order to tell people that Carson was dropping out of the race in order to get more evangelical votes. They have also attempted to lead people to believe that this ‘controversy’ led to Carson’s fourth place finish. That could not be any further from the truth. Dr. Carson has demanded that the grassroots leader be fired.
The one thing not being mentioned is the CNN report which stemmed from an unclear statement sent out by the Carson campaign.
The doctor’s campaign later clarified that Dr. Carson was not dropping out of the race, but merely returning to Florida to get a change of clothes. FOX News’ Dana Perino said earlier on Tuesday that such a decision by a presidential candidate at this state of the game is unheard of.
Still, Cruz handled the accusation with class issuing an apology for what happened. He is stated that after Carson further explained that he was simply going to get a change of clothes, that should have been relayed so as to avoid confusion. That entire apology is being framed as an admission of wrongdoing by Cruz himself in an obvious effort to derail the Texas senator’s presidential bid.
What has not been said much throughout the day is that Florida Senator Marco Rubio ‘s campaign worked actively to spread the message that Carson was leaving the presidential race. These actions were reported on Twitter by Conrad Close who, according to his Twitter profile, is the managing editor of Outset Magazine.
Another interesting little tidbit about Close, that he shouts from the rooftops with his Twitter profile picture, is that he is Team Rubio with the statement below his picture, “I’m voting for Marco Rubio.”
So, why is this a story?
At approximately 7:15 pm Mountain, I was in the middle of making dinner and saw Marco Rubio on FOX News’ The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly. During the interview, Rubio took a swipe at this ‘Cruz/Carson controversy’ without naming Cruz’s name. At around the 45-second mark, Marco Rubio got on his high horse, after claiming he does not attack other candidates.
“I think it’s time for voters to start coalescing. The candidates, they worked hard. They deserve to see this through, at least through New Hampshire. You’ll never hear me either calling for someone to drop out, or you’ll never hear about me making up rumors that someone is dropping out in order to try to get votes.”
There’s only one problem. Earlier in the day, I saw the tweet from Rubio supporter Conrad Close which explicitly stated that the Rubio campaign was pushing the narrative that Carson was dropping out in an attempt to pick up Carson votes. (see above)
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Note that Rubio finished the night in third place with a higher percentage than expected, 23.1%.
So, I went to Close’s Twitter feed, did a search for Marco Rubio, found the tweet, took a screen shot and sent it to a friend. That was at 7:29 pm Mountain time, just after Rubio slammed Cruz with the claim that you would never find him spreading lies about other candidates to get votes.
At 7:30 pm Mountain time, my friend clicked on the link to the tweet — and the tweet was gone. In its place, viewers saw this instead.
This being a coincidence would be rather far-fetched. Right after Rubio made the claim that his campaign would never ‘spread lies’ about a candidate leaving the race, an avid Marco Rubio supporter, who is in media, removed a tweet that shows Rubio’s statement to be a blatant lie. This is a tweet that had been on Twitter for more than 24 hours.
An article had been written on Patheos earlier on Tuesday which highlighted the tweet.
Did the Rubio campaign contact Close and ask him to take the tweet down? Did Close make the decision himself to remove the tweet in order to protect his candidate of choice?
Only Close knows the answer to that question.
Why is one candidate, Cruz, being vehemently attacked from numerous angles and another, Rubio, left untouched? Why is Cruz being held personally responsible for the actions of one person on his campaign, but there Rubio is not?
I don’t know about you, but I smell a cover-up to protect FOX News’ and new GOP establishment golden boy, Marco Rubio.
This article has been updated.