Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) apologized Tuesday to Ben Carson after his campaign team spread a rumor that the retired neurosurgeon was dropping out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses, CNN reported.
Cruz surrogates on Monday night circulated a CNN report that Carson would be going to Florida and Washington, D.C. after the caucuses instead of immediately decamping to New Hampshire, as is customary.
Carson criticized that move, characterizing the gossip as “dirty tricks” that had cost him the caucus. Carson finished in fourth place.
Cruz’s camp called the information-spreading “fair game,” but conceded that they should have updated people once Carson’s camp clarified that he was staying in the race and going back to Florida simply to grab a change of clothes.
Read the full statement below from CNN’s “Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield”:
Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated the grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story. That’s fair game.
What the team should have done is send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.
That was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson.