WASHINGTON, February 2, 2016 — It was politics as usual during the February 1 Iowa Caucus. Dr. Ben Carson was hopeful that he would clearly out-perform in Iowa, having been recognized as having one of the top three ground organizations in the state. Feedback from several sources suggested to him that his Iowa poll numbers were low.
After Carson was asked where he would go from Iowa, he said he would go home to Florida “for a change of clothes” before heading for Washington to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast and then continuing to New Hampshire. I’m sure Carson’s campaign could kick themselves for not considering the optics of such a trip.
The media grabbed the comment and immediately published the assumption that it signaled that Carson was leaving the race.
Chris Moody, CNN’s Senior Digital Reporter, tweeted:
Carson won’t go to NH/SC, but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R. He’ll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.
— Chris Moody (@moody) February 2, 2016
This tweet, sent at 4:43 pm, was re-tweeted by Iowa Congressman Steve King who had endorsed Cruz and was actively campaigning for him. At 5:20 pm, just over an hour before the Caucus began, King added his two cents in his own tweet:
Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope. https://t.co/lW5Js50EMA
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) February 2, 2016
That is all it took.
Multiple reports indicate that Cruz caucus captains announced during their caucus that Carson was out of the race and encouraged his supporters to vote for Cruz. Carson supporters and spokespeople said that they were “rattled” and “confused” by the announcement.
Candy Carson walked into one precinct caucus to speak to the group. Cruz supporters had announced that Carson was out. Mrs. Carson set the record straight and Carson won that caucus.
The Carson campaign and Carson himself set the record straight. Carson decried the dirty tricks but it was after the fact. The damage was done.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) February 2, 2016
The media has been no friend to Ben Carson. While Dr. Carson has consistently ranked within the top four in Iowa and nationally, his name is seldom mentioned. Typically, discussion of the field includes Trump, Cruz, and Rubio and then includes Rand Paul, Jeb Bush or other also-rans.
To judge from the evening news, you would never know Carson was running unless poll results for the entire field are shown.
How does a candidate deal with such obstacles? Has the media become so corrupt that there is no news anymore other than what they would like you to know, and then, often infused with assumptions and subjective commentary?
This story will certainly not be pursued by the media, so most people will never be aware that it happened.
It comes down to the people. Will those who become aware of it hold the media and the Cruz campaign accountable? Voters seem to be sick of the Washington elites running things their way. This is another example of the extent that they will go to in order to silence someone they don’t want heard.
It will take people researching things for themselves and not taking everything told them on Fox News, CBS or another station as truth. Will people take the time to do that? I wonder…