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Plot Thickens in the Carson-Cruz Drama (But This Is Politics, You Know)

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ted Cruz has apologized for spreading the rumor that Ben Carson's dropping out, actually apologized to Dr. Carson. 

Ted Cruz apologized for his campaign statements made on the day of the Iowa caucus, implying that Carson was dropping out of the race.  "Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated grassroots leaders just as we would with 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. That was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson." 

This is an even more direct apology than what I reported to you yesterday.  But it doesn't look like it's enough to satisfy Dr. Carson.  During an appearance on the Fox Business Network's After the Bell Dr. Carson responded to Cruz's apology.  He said: "As Christians, of course we accept people’s apologies. We also have to ask ourselves is this acceptable to us, the American people, or should there be some accountability? There should be some consequences for things. You don’t just say 'oh, okay, sorry… okay let’s move on.' The damage was done to me, it wasn’t done to them."

So I don't know, what's he saying?  That Cruz ought to fire some people?  Dr. Carson wants heads to roll.  I guess my idea didn't get any traction.  Cruz should offer Dr. Carson a couple delegates.  I'm shocked.  I'm shocked.  I thought that would have been a great, Great Compromise here.  I mean, whoever does that before?  I mean just give a couple delegates, "Sorry, Dr. Carson, I did that." Of course, I can see the problem.  If you offer a couple delegates and Dr. Carson, "No, I want all five."  Then you've got a negotiation. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I understand that.

But look at the magnanimity of offering a couple of delegates as a peace offering.  I mean, it's not like offering $24 for Manhattan, but nevertheless it's a deal.  Well, I know it's why it probably isn't gonna happen, he's gonna need those delegates toward the end.  You never know. 

And then there's this from Breitbart: "Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson alleged that there is a 'culture' within fellow candidate Texas Senator Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign that led some of his supporters to falsely claim Carson had dropped out during the Iowa caucus on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor."  By the way, I was mentioned on The O'Reilly Factor last night, too, and we have that coming up. 

We had a caller yesterday.  We've had a lot of callers here calling about Fox News lately.  We had one yesterday, and the caller said, "They're not conservative anymore. They're not conservative like I remember 'em. All they do is just criticize conservatives."  And I sought to explain why that happens.  And the O'Reilly Factor aired that and of course promptly disagreed and brought in guests who disagreed, and then unknowingly made my point.  So we will share that with you as the program unfolds. 

But Carson was on The O'Reilly Factor, said he'd talked to Cruz, "And he says that he didn’t know anything about what the campaign did," meaning that's what Cruz told Carson, and Carson says, "I have to accept at his word that he didn’t know, because he said if he had known, he would have not agreed with such a thing," meaning tweet out that Carson was leaving the campaign.

Now, Carson later said: "A culture exists within the Cruz camp that would allow people to take advantage of a situation like this in a very dishonest way. Isn’t this the same thing that we see with the Obama administration, the IRS scandal? No responsibility. Let’s see, what, in fact, the Cruz campaign will do about those individuals who inappropriately disseminated this information, knowing that the caucus were not over."

Here comes Sarah Palin, endorser of Donald Trump, on Facebook.  "Dirty Politics: Witnessing Firsthand[.] It's Always Heartbreaking, Never Surprising."  She writes, "Thank heavens Donald Trump opened so many eyes to the lies, corruption and total lack of accountability that come so naturally to the permanent political class. And Sen. Ted Cruz was spot on when he once noted that 'millions of Americans are asking for accountability and truth.' Which is why it's so curious -- and saddens us -- this lack of accountability with the lies of Cruz's own campaign.

"Cruz's campaign chairman, US Representative Steve King, is lying, and good for Dr. Ben Carson for calling this out. King, who's previously asked for and received my endorsement, time and resources to support his own election, is still lying about my altruistic support of Mr. Trump, and he's refused to provide any evidence to the contrary. And, this US congressman actually lied to his own constituents on behalf of Cruz, regarding a good man, Dr. Carson.

"He told voters Carson was dropping out of the presidential race immediately before the Iowa caucus, causing a relative uproar inside the process, so the word would spread and he could rack up more votes for his candidate, Cruz. That's a dirty trick. Dr. Carson deserved better. The voters deserved better! Where is the accountability for these political actions? Very sad; typical Washington tactics. THIS is why 'the status quo has got to go.'" That's Sarah Palin climbing in, dumping on Cruz and Steve King and the campaign for the dire mistreatment of Dr. Carson. 

And over here: "Uh Oh, Was Marco Rubio Guilty in the Ben Carson Dropout Rumor?"

I'll tell you what this says after this.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Just got an e-mail here during the break.  "Dear Rush:  I'm missing something here in this outrage.  I'm missing something in this outrage directed at Cruz.  Trump, Palin, Carson all sound whiny to me.  What in the world do they think they're doing?  What business are they in, here?"  Folks, maybe that describes some of you, the (crying) aspect of this.  What it means, is Cruz is the front-runner.  And this is apparently the only way they can go after him.  I guess they don't think they can go after him on issues. 

I guess they don't see any other way to go at him. You know they're gonna go after the front-runner.  I mean, it's part of the race. It's the name of the game here.  Now, it does matter, I think, what you go after the front-runner on.  You do run the risk of sounding -- I don't know -- whiny.  I don't know what it is, but you gotta realize what business you're in here.  But if there were a way to solidly attack Cruz on issues or substance, I think they would do that, too, and so far it's just about whatever his campaign did with Dr. Carson.

Now, I ran across a website today, first time.  It's named PolitiStick, P-o-l-i-t-i-s-t-i-c-k.  And the write here is Jennifer Burke.  The headline: "Uh-Oh, Was Marco Rubio Guilty in the Ben Carson Dropout Rumor?"  It begins this way:  "Texas Senator Ted Cruz has been the subject of brutal attacks all day by the Dr. Ben Carson campaign...  Prior to the beginning of the Iowa Caucus, CNN reporter Chris Moody tweeted that Dr. Carson was leaving the campaign trail to return to Florida for some R&R.

"He then said that Carson would be in Washington, DC for the National Prayer Breakfast, the event that put the renowned retired pediatric neurosurgeon on the political map in 2013...  The Cruz campaign is accused of intentionally using dirty tricks against Carson during the Iowa Caucus. Dr. Carson finished the night with just over 9% of the vote. Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus with 27.6% ...  Carson accuses Cruz of intentionally trying to undermine his campaign due to the actions of a grassroots leader involved with his campaign. ... 

"The one thing not being mentioned is the CNN report which stemmed from an unclear statement sent out by the Carson campaign."   This woman, Jennifer Burke, is actually saying (summarized): You know, you want to get to the bottom of this, what started it all?  The Cruz camp didn't start it.  There was a tweet out there.  And her area of focus is the Carson campaign backed up by CNN.  Here's the Chris Moody tweet.  This is exactly what CNN tweeted out at 5:43 p.m. on February 1st.  This is before the caucus even started. 

Chris Moody of CNN tweets: "'Carson won't go to New Hampshire or South Carolina but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R.  He'll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.' The doctor's campaign later clarified that Dr. Carson was not dropping out of the race, but merely returning to Florida to get a change of clothes. FOX News' Dana Perino said earlier on Tuesday that such a decision by a presidential candidate at this state of the game is unheard of.  Still, Cruz handled the accusation with class issuing an apology ...

"That entire apology is being framed as an admission of wrongdoing by Cruz himself... What has not been said much throughout the day is that Florida Senator Marco Rubio's campaign worked actively to spread the message that Carson was leaving the presidential race. These actions were reported on Twitter by Conrad Close who, according to his Twitter profile, is the managing editor of Outset Magazine. Another interesting little tidbit about [Conrad] Close, that he shouts from the rooftops with his Twitter profile picture, is that he is Team Rubio with the statement below his picture, 'I'm voting for Marco Rubio.'"

His tweet at 6:29 p.m. on February 1st, before the caucus had begun: "'Rubio campaign pushing the narrative hard that Carson is dropping out' Obviously looking to pick up votes from Carson.'" That's a tweet from a guy named Conrad Close, who identifies... He's a young guy; he identifies himself as a Rubio supporter and is the managing editor of something called Outset Magazine.  "Conservative journalist and communications guy fighting to make a difference for God and country," is how he describes himself in his Twitter profile, "managing editor Outset, occasionally tries to save the world." 

He lives in Georgia, and he tweeted out at 6:29: "Rubio campaign pushing the narrative hard that Carson is dropping out. Obviously looking to pick up votes from Carson."  And that's gone.  They pulled that down, but the screenshot was grabbed of it in time.  And there's more.  So the plot thickens here, ladies and gentlemen.  But it's still politics.  It's not Romper Room.  But that's... You know, we live in a country where many Millennials think it is Romper Room, folks.  That's a problem with our education system, and that's another story.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  No, no, no.  I get it.  I mean, Cruz wins Iowa by stressing his ethics and his honesty and religion, so I can understand 'em going after on that.  But you gotta... Just sit tight, folks.  We are not stopping.  Rolling right on, when we get back.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to go back to this allegation of cheating and fraud against Senator Cruz on this business of trying to take advantage of a confusing tweet from the Carson campaign about leaving Iowa and going back to Florida.  And that tweet, by the way, the original tweet was a CNN tweet, and the original CNN tweet, it was not a Carson campaign tweet; it was a not a Cruz campaign tweet.  The CNN tweet that got everybody going on this happened at 5:43 on Monday, which  I think it's Central time, so that'd be an hour and 15 minutes before the caucuses began. 

And it's a tweet from Chris Moody, CNN:  "Carson won't go to New Hampshire or South Carolina but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R and then he'll be in DC on Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast."  That tweet was then assumed to mean something, or at least somebody sought to take advantage of it and have it mean something.  Now, I have a question, and the question is, how many votes was Dr. Carson denied because of this "fraud"?  I have here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers are the vote totals on the Republican side from the Iowa caucuses. 

Ted Cruz earned more votes than any Republican has ever received in the Iowa caucus, 51,666.  Donald Trump, 45,427.  Marco Rubio, 43,165.  Here are the delegates.  Ted Cruz, 51,000 votes, eight delegates.  Donald Trump, 45,000 votes, seven delegates.  Marco Rubio, 43,000 votes, seven delegates.  Ben Carson, 17,395 votes and three delegates.  Now, my question is, in order for Dr. Carson to have caught Marco Rubio and tied him for third place, there would have had to have been a change of 25,000 votes in both directions. 

So Carson would have to win 12,500 and Rubio would have to lose 12,500or any combination thereof equal 25,000, because Carson needed 25,000 votes in order to tie Rubio.  His total was 17,395.  But anybody believe that Ben Carson was cheated out of 25,000 votes because of this fraud?  Well, we don't know.  But the polling data... Remember, now, the last poll that everybody trusted -- the Des Moines Register poll -- before the caucuses began, had Trump up by four.  Cruz in second place.  Rubio in third place, and Carson in fourth place, and then everybody after that didn't matter. 

Carson at 9%, Rand Paul at 5%, and three, two, two, two, two, two, two, and one.  So aside from the position to Cruz and Trump, the poll was accurate.  So had nobody tweeted that Carson was leaving the race, had nobody tweeted, "Hey, you don't need to vote for Carson! He's getting out of the race," would he have somehow ended up with 25,000 more votes?  Can you see it?  We will never know.  Obviously the Trump campaign and the Carson campaign are going to try to make the case that it is entirely possible that Ben Carson got shafted out of 25,000 votes. 

I mean, they practically have to, if they're gonna go forward with this and make it the big cause that it happens to be.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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