At Saturday night’s debate, Cruz apologized once again over his campaign’s actions during the Iowa Caucus. However, once again he downplayed the incident by badly bungling the timeline. It isn’t clear whether he is that misinformed or if he is trying to pull the wool over our eyes in order to excuse his campaign’s actions. Here is the timeline:
6:43 PM CNN’s Chris Moody Tweets Carson going to Florida and won’t go to New Hampshire and South Carolina
6:43 PM Moody tweets the correction that the Carson campaign says he’s staying in the race regardless of the caucus results
6:44 PM On Air, CNN discusses Moody’s original tweet but does not say Carson is suspending campaign. At this time, Moody’s second tweet is not discussed.
6:53 Carson’s campaign sends a tweet that Carson is going to Florida but will then continue his campaign in NH and SC.
6:56 Cruz campaign sent email suggesting Carson could be giving up the campaign and telling people to convert Carson caucus goers to Cruz
7:00 On Air, CNN corrects its story and clarifies that Carson is not standing down.
7:00 Caucuses begin
7:01 Cruz campaign sends texts repeating Moody’s original tweet and asking that the word be spread to Carson caucus goers and to convert them to Cruz
7:07 Phone call goes out from Cruz campaign to all Cruz caucus captains repeating Moody’s original tweet and asking that Carson caucus goers be advised that a vote for Carson is a wasted vote and telling them to vote for Cruz
7:20 Congressman Steve King, who has endorsed Cruz, tweets that “it looks like Carson is out.”
7:29 Second phone call goes out from Cruz campaign telling all Cruz caucus captains to spread the word that Carson was “suspending campaigning” and tell Carson caucus goers to vote for Cruz.
During the debate, Cruz conveniently leaves out all of the corrections that came out after the initial tweet that had started the confusion. That tweet was corrected within one minute by the CNN reporter who originated the first tweet. Within 10 minutes Carson’s campaign tweeted that Carson would continue with the race. Within 17 minutes CNN On Air announced that Carson was not giving up the race. Yet, after clarifications came from three different sources, including the Carson campaign, the Cruz campaign continued to push the incorrect information out to the Caucuses until at least 7:29 PM, 29 minutes after the third correction was issued and NEVER issued any kind of correction.
Cruz also mentioned that volunteers were doing this communication. Are we to believe that informational robo calls were made to thousands of caucus captains in all precincts without the knowledge and blessing of paid campaign staff? As precise and detailed as Cruz’s campaign organization in Iowa was, that just doesn’t pass the smell test.
The thing that concerns me most about this is Cruz’s refusal to take responsibility for how serious this was. By offering up excuses instead of taking responsibility for the problem and taking steps to ensure it never happens again, he leaves the door wide open for such things to reoccur. The culture and ethics of any campaign are a direct reflection on the candidate. Cruz is looking really sleazy right now. I only hope he will recognize how serious this problem is and act on it accordingly.