WASHINGTON, February 6, 2016 – The Cruz campaign has a problem. Following the Iowa debacle in which a CNN reporter tweeted that Dr. Ben Carson was going to Florida after the caucus, and then assumed he was not going to New Hampshire or South Carolina, the Cruz campaign announced Carson was leaving the race. Later, Cruz stated that his campaign had merely passed along a news story from CNN to his caucus captains. Cruz apologized and said the only thing that could have been done by his campaign was to have sent out a clarification after the Carson campaign specifically announced that Carson was not leaving the race.
Fast forward to Thursday. Breitbart.com published audio of phone calls from the Cruz campaign to its caucus captains in Iowa stating that Carson was suspending his campaign.
Hello, this is the Cruz campaign with breaking news: Dr. Ben Carson will be [garbled] suspending campaigning following tonight’s caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead. Thank you. Good night.
Cruz’s claim that the campaign only forwarded what CNN’s reporter had tweeted is demonstrably false.
Cruz’s handling of this potentially devastating event is reminiscent of the way Barack Obama has handled major issues. Cruz showed concern and understanding and he actually apologized publicly, which Obama has never done. Then he did nothing. He didn’t investigate the facts. Further, he stated that he would hold nobody in his campaign accountable for what had happened.
Aren’t we getting tired of this? Cruz has demonstrated that handling of internal problems is no different from that of Washington insiders. Say the right thing and do nothing. Don’t hold anyone accountable, just let the dust-up go away with time.
Cruz could take a lesson from Chris Christie, who, after the bridge-gate scandal surfaced, immediately fired two members of his inner circle. He could also take a lesson from Carson himself, who at the end of December wasn’t pleased with the performance of his campaign senior staff so he changed it.
Cruz’s rhetoric seems ideologically pure but his actions (or inaction) put him in the mainstream of mainstream politics.