February 5, 2016


Carson dropout rumors dog Cruz in New Hampshire (KYLE CHENEY, 02/05/16, Politico)

Four days after winning the Iowa caucuses, Cruz's team is still struggling to answer questions about whether it relied on trickery to pad its lead by convincing Iowans that Carson -- a rival for evangelical votes -- was dropping out of the race. What the Cruz campaign initially called a knee-jerk response to ambiguous news reports has been revealed to be a more coordinated effort to steer Carson voters to the Cruz camp amid the chaotic caucus atmosphere.

A campaign of tweets, emails and calls to Cruz precinct captains encouraged the rapid spread of the news that Carson would be leaving the race and that a vote for him would be a "waste." The Cruz camp denies that it did anything other than pass along accurate news reports.

Anecdotal evidence has emerged that some voters intending to back Carson changed their minds after hearing the news. And perhaps more significantly, a pile-on by Cruz's opponents has kept the pressure on the Texas senator's campaign.

Why Carson Might Poison the Well for Cruz with Evangelicals (Rob Garver, February 5, 2016, Fiscal Times)

Both men have built campaigns that rest in large part on their repeated outward demonstrations of Christian faith, which has made them popular with evangelical Christians that make up much of the GOP base.

While Carson has faded considerably since the brief moment he led the polls a few months ago, his 9.3 percent showing in Iowa demonstrates that he still has a considerable following, and many of those followers are the same evangelicals that Cruz has his eye on as he looks to consolidate any support he can to challenge frontrunner Donald Trump. [...]

The tweet from King was just the beginning. On Thursday, the website Breitbart.com, which is unabashed in its support for Trump, obtained and published what it said were two voicemails left for Cruz precinct captains.

The messages, left shortly before Iowa Republicans gathered to caucus for presidential candidates, urged the Cruz organizers to tell Carson supporters at Monday night's caucuses that their man was getting out of the race, and that they would be wasting a vote on the retired neurosurgeon.

On Tuesday, Carson accused the Cruz campaign of employing "dirty tricks" in Iowa. On Wednesday, speaking to reporters, Carson himself got Biblical on Cruz.

"I make no bones about the fact that I am a person of faith, and I believe what it says in Matthew 7:20: 'By their fruit you will know them.'" The verse, as Carson undoubtedly knows, refers to "false prophets" and is the source of the saying, "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

When Breitbart released the audio recordings Thursday, the C[arson] campaign posted them online and sent out a fundraising pitch in the form of an email from Carson himself to his supporters.

"This kind of deceitful behavior is why the American people don't trust politicians and don't trust Washington, D.C.," it read. "If Senator Cruz does not act, then he clearly represents D.C. values... I call on Senator Cruz to take decisive action at a senior level within his campaign or I fear this culture of destructive behavior will only continue."

Posted by at February 5, 2016 6:55 PM


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