To those of us who remember Watergate, there is something disturbing coming out of the Republican caucus in Iowa. It surrounds that wonderful Canadian Senator Ted Cruz.
Cruz has been running around the country espousing the wonderfulness of Ronald Reagan. As a matter of fact, he wants us to believe that he is the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan.
Unfortunately, in Iowa, he appeared more like Richard Nixon than Ronald Reagan. There were two incidents that he pulled off that hurt his opponents at the polls.
One can be claimed to be nothing more than a political stunt, the other can only be defined as lying. The first incident involved a mailing. His campaign sent out thousand of “Voter Violations” notices to people in Iowa giving the impression that the state was keeping tabs on who caucused and who didn’t.
The intent was to shame people into caucusing for Cruz. It said they could clear up their “voter violation” by caucusing and recommended they caucus for Cruz.
It appears to have worked. Cruz wanted at least 170,000 Republicans to caucus. He figured he needed that many in order to get enough to win. The turnout was 180,000 so kudos to Republicans for participating.
Cruz’ team said it was nothing “unusual” for such mailers to be sent out. His opponents claim it was fraud. The State does not track if you caucus or not and never sends out notices like this one. Even the Secretary of State in Iowa called it fraudulent.
The second incident took place during the actual caucus. This amounts to clear lying to people in order to get votes. It seems that Ben Carson told CNN that after the caucus, he was planning to return to Florida “to get a fresh change of clothes” and that he planned to attend the National Prayer Breakfast. CNN reported that news on-air.
The Cruz campaign immediately jumped on the announcement. But, they didn’t actually say what the announcement said. They had their floor managers go to Ben Carson supporters and state that Carson was “leaving the campaign” so they should vote for Cruz instead of Carson.
This was all happening during the actual caucus. When Carson called out the Cruz campaign the next morning, Rick Tyler, the Cruz campaign communications director, said on Morning Joe:
On the Ben Carson issue, it’s just false. We simply as a campaign repeated what Ben Carson said in his own words. That is not a dirty trick.
Only they didn’t simply repeat what Carson said. They lied and said Carson was “leaving the race” and that is not the same. Cruz did issue an apology of a kind. He said:
This was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson.
But, of course, he had more to say:
Last night when our political team saw the CNN post that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated our grassroots leaders just as we would for any breaking news story.
That’s fair game. What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.
The thing is they changed the content of what Carson actually said in order to get more votes. Yesterday, Carson was on O’Reilly and said:
Here’s the issue, a culture exists within the Cruz camp that would allow people to take advantage of a situation like this in a very dishonest way.
Let’s see what in fact the Cruz campaign will do about those individuals who inappropriately disseminated this information knowing that the caucuses were not over. They were absolutely anxious to get it out there, weren’t they?
Carson is correct. Here is someone trying to run for President on the basis that he is an outsider. Yet, he has resorted to the same type of dirty tricks we came to see from Richard Nixon. Even the denials from Cruz and his staff sound all too familiar.
Carson said on Fox News that he will fight what he sees as dishonesty in politics.
There are so many people who have said, that’s just the way it is, that’s the way politics is, and you just accept it.
If we expose these kinds of things and we condemn them and if people are the ones who have to say this is unacceptable, we will not do this, this is not the right thing to do, it is not the Christian thing to do, don’t accept it.
But, Cruz claims to be the evangelical’s political messiah! How can he be involved in un-Christian political practices? Because he isn’t a Christian at all. He is simply Richard Nixon reincarnated.
And, the “shirts” keep marching along!