A spokesman for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential campaign on Tuesday dismissed Dr. Ben Carson’s charge that Cruz supporters played “dirty tricks” to win the Iowa caucuses.
“On the Ben Carson allegation, it’s just false. We simply, as a campaign, repeated what Ben Carson had said,” Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Carson accused Cruz supporters of spreading false rumors that the retired neurosurgeon was dropping out of the presidential race after CNN reported that he would vacation in Florida following the caucuses. Carson, whose campaign had clarified that he was returning home just to grab some fresh clothes, said Cruz’s campaign used “dirty tricks” to lure his supporters over to the freshman senator’s side.
“We continue to accept deceit and dirty tricks and lies and people who do that are still viable candidates for President of the U.S. And we accept them. That’s the problem that is going on,” Carson told supporters late Monday.
Tyler said the Cruz campaign simply repeated Carson’s own words.
“In his own words, he said, after Iowa, he was going back to Florida for a couple days and then he was going to go to D.C. to the prayer breakfast,” he said. “So what that told us was that he’s not going to New Hampshire. That’s not a dirty trick.”
Tyler also defended mailers the Cruz campaign sent to potential caucusgoers over the weekend that “graded” their voting history and implied they had violated state election law. When host Mika Brzezinski asked if Tyler would “consider that dirty politics,” Tyler said the mailer was based on a past mailer by the Iowa Republican Party.
“I could show you lots and lots of mailers that I would consider deceptive, but this was reminding people it was their obligation and duty to vote,” Tyler said.