Speed Reads

Iowa caucus 2016

Ben Carson says Ted Cruz's campaign played a 'dirty trick' against him in Iowa

Ben Carson says Ted Cruz's campaign spread rumors about him at caucus sites across Iowa, causing him to lose supporters.

The Carson campaign alleges that the Cruz team sent emails to supporters asking them to falsely tell people at caucus sites that Carson dropped out of the race so his backers would start supporting other candidates, Time reports. "That is really quite a dirty trick," Carson told reporters Monday night. "That's the very kind of thing that irritated me enough to get into this quagmire." His campaign manager, Ed Brookover, called it "the lowest of low in American politics," while Carson's Iowa co-chair and state Rep. Rob Taylor dubbed it "horses—t."

Carson's deputy senior strategist shared with reporters an email he said he received from a precinct chair in Muscatine, which read: "The guy speaking for Ted Cruz right before the vote, he was supposed to be done, he announced that there was a story on CNN that Ben Carson was taking a break after Iowa, and then stated, 'So you might want to rethink wasting your vote on him.'" CNN did report that Carson planned to go to his house in Florida before campaigning again, but never said he would leave the race. Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told Time the allegations are "absurd."