RUSH: We’re gonna start here, as I told the broadcast engineer, with F. Chuck Todd on the Today Show today with Savannah Guthrie. They were speaking about Ted Cruz’s campaign, telling voters about Carson’s leaving the race because of a report on CNN. Now, let’s review this. Let’s review what we know, just before we get to the sound bite. Somebody at CNN — I forget the name — tweeted that Carson was leaving the race and going home to Florida and then to the National Prayer Breakfast.
That was a CNN tweet.
And the CNN reporter had to get it from somewhere, and he did not get it from Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz didn’t know. And, by the way, this is 10 minutes, 20 minutes before the caucus begins. This is between the hour of 5:30 and 6:30 PM on Monday. Somebody had to tell the CNN reporter that Ben Carson was going back to Florida. The CNN reporter tweets it; the campaigns see it. It clearly said that Carson is returning to Florida and not going to New Hampshire or South Carolina, but is going to attend the National Prayer Breakfast today.
So the Rubio campaign and the Cruz campaign get in gear and point this out to their people on the ground, and they pass it around as though it could be that Carson or CNN is saying that Carson is leaving the race. He is, what the CNN tweet said, going back to Florida. Well, then the results come in, and Carson outperforms what the Real Clear Politics polling average showed that he would do. Cruz wins when Trump was forecast by the polls to win by four. That shakes up everything.
The Democrat side’s a mess.
Democrats and the Des Moines Register, a whole bunch of people, are still embarrassed over what happened there. Because of all the embarrassment on the side of the people who lost. Then somehow it ends up that the Cruz campaign engaged in a “dirty trick” by simply passing on information to caucus-goers that was supplied by Carson or his campaign to CNN. This was then said to be “a dirty trick,” and Dr. Carson went out there and said he was righteously indignant and offended and so forth.
He went so far as to make it look like he thought Cruz ought to fire somebody for making this happen. In the meantime, not one caucus-goer has yet come forward and said, “I intended to vote for Dr. Carson, but when I saw that Cruz tweet that went out that he had left the race, I changed my vote.” Not one person has come forth and said so. And I am here to tell you that if those people existed, they would have found by now, and you would have seen them all over CNN, PMSNBC, and Fox.
Ben Carson would have needed 25,000 votes…
He ended up with 17,000, a solid fourth place. He would have needed 25,000 votes to tie Rubio. Nobody is making the claim that he was cheated out of 25,000 votes when his total was 17,000. The CNN reporter is Chris Moody. Okay? So that’s what happened. Now let’s go to the Today show today with Savannah Guthrie speaking with F. Chuck Todd of Meet the Press. She said, “Donald Trump is accusing Cruz of stealing the election in Iowa. Number one, is there anything in the substance of that, and, number two, is Trump’s attack a smart political attack, do you think, Chuck?”
TODD: I have to say, the more they fight, the more this helps one candidate. Not Ted Cruz, not Donald Trump, but Marco Rubio. The private polling I’ve been hearing about over the last two days post-Iowa indicates that Cruz hasn’t gotten a bump, and I think partly because Trump has been beating him up. Trump’s been eroding a little bit. And there’s only one guy on the rise: Marco Rubio.
RUSH: Okay. So F. Chuck cites “private polling” (meaning we’re not allowed to know who) that says Trump’s attacks on Cruz are working because Cruz isn’t getting the bump that you would normally expect to see after a big win in Iowa, that Trump’s numbers are eroding a little bit, but the big gainer happens to be Marco Rubio. And people are scratching their heads, wondering how that happened. “Why is that? Rubio? How in the hell does Rubio get a bump? What is happening here to cause Rubio to rise in the polls?”
People are scratching their heads and looking in the deep, dark crevices of the sofa trying to figure what’s happening here. And F. Chuck thinks that Trump’s attacks on Cruz on this Carson thing are actually hurting Cruz even though Cruz has apologized. But, of course, we’re not finished.
RUSH: I gotta quick question. I want to go back just a little bit here to audio sound bite number seven, Savannah Guthrie asking F. Chuck Todd, “Hey, Chuck, anything in the substance of this Carson, Cruz, Trump business reporting that Carson was leaving the race? And number two, is it a smart thing for Trump to attack Cruz on?” (replaying of sound bite) Stop it right there. Stop it. Stop it right there. What is this, “Cruz hasn’t got a bump”? We just had the story that the Iowa winner doesn’t get a bump in New Hampshire.
I just regaled you with it.
I just informed you of the story that New Hampshire voters, they do not like to rubber stamp what comes out of Iowa. This is what we’re told in the Drive-Bys today, that New Hampshire voters go in there and no matter who wins Iowa, they’re not gonna win New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters go in there and they make a point to make sure they vote for somebody other than who won Iowa, right? So what is F. Chuck talking about here when he says that the polling data he’s hearing about indicates Cruz hasn’t gotten a bump?
According to these guys, there is no bumping coming out of Iowa. So that means one of these things isn’t true, and I’ll tell you which one isn’t true. This silly assertion that New Hampshire makes sure to not vote for the Iowa win is absolute flat-out BS. Stop and think for a moment how in the world that could be made a reality. Who would organize that? Who sends the memo out to all of the voters in New Hampshire? “All right. Ted Cruz won in Iowa.
“That means he cannot win in New Hampshire. You know what to do! Now get out there and vote.” Really? Is that how it happens? Or does every New Hampshire voter consciously say, “Screw Iowa. I’m gonna make sure that whatever happens here is not what happened there.” That’s what they want us to believe? Of course there’s a bump coming out of Iowa! Of course it’d be a huge bump coming out of Iowa for Cruz, especially given how it happened and what the expectations were. There are a huge…
He was supposed to lose, suppose to come in second, it’d be a huge bump. Now they’re trying to say there isn’t a bump and they don’t expect a bump. And, yeah, Trump’s attacks? Boy, they’re brilliant. They are really, really, really hurting Cruz, and not really helping Trump much, and Rubio’s picking up the pieces here and really moving forward. Now, here’s the next bite. This is Fox News Channel with Greta Van Susteren last night. She’s interviewing Trump. She said, “What do you mean, Ted Cruz stole the Iowa contest?”
TRUMP: I think what he did is disgusting. He said that Ben Carson, who’s a fantastic guy, had dropped out of the race during the caucus. He had dropped out of the race and vote for Ted Cruz. All of these people, come and vote for Ted Cruz — and many of them did. I think it was a disgrace that he did it and I don’t think it should be even allowed. I think those votes should be taken away, and there were plenty of ’em.
RUSH: Really? What do we know? Again, I think I know a lot. I may not have heard everything — and now that I’ve brought it up, I’m sure somewhere, it’s gonna happen. Sure as I’m sitting here, somebody in Iowa is gonna pop up and say, “Hey, I did! I intended to vote for Dr. Carson, but when I saw that Ted Cruz said that he was leaving the race, I said, ‘Well, okay, I’m voting for Cruz.'” But nobody has said that. I’m sure since I have pointed it out somebody’s gonna pop up now.
We head to the phones. Josh in Decatur, Illinois. It’s great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, buddy. Good to talk to you again. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: To me, Trump ain’t looking very presidential, whining about this. I’m still undecided, but why is it just assumed that all the votes went to Cruz? Couldn’t Trump have benefited from —
RUSH: Now, wait, wait.
CALLER: — Carson voters not showing up?
RUSH: Wait a second. This is the kind of stuff… You know, you say that Trump isn’t looking very presidential and this is the kind of stuff he does that has launched him. He doubles down when things like this happen, and people say, “It’s incredible he’s saying this.” He doubles down on it. And he has been gaining. His support’s been increasing. His appeal has been broadening as he does these things.
CALLER: It just ain’t plain to me. I mean, it might be… I think whenever he’s attacking Democrats or attacking things that are against our values. But I don’t see anything in Ted Cruz that I would attack. It just turns me off to hear.
RUSH: Well, I understand that. But if you are in the Republican primary and you’re expected to win Iowa, and you didn’t — and the guy who did is somebody you don’t like anyway — and you got an opportunity here to point out that he’s a cheater and a fraud, you’ll do it. Because what you want to do? You want to win New Hampshire! Before you get to the Democrats, you gotta knock these guys out. So you understand there are going to be vicious battles within the Republican Party. I agree with you that a lot of this looks childish, but realize that people benefit. That’s the story of this campaign, that some benefit during all this.
CALLER: Yeah, and he could have benefited, too, from Carson. I mean, I don’t think he should assume that all the people that weren’t gonna vote for Carson automatically went to Cruz. Some of them might have said, “Heck, you know, I’ll throw in Trump.”
RUSH: Well, look, the dirty little secret here (and I hate on overuse that cliche) is Ben Carson was not, does not appear to have been harmed greatly by this. He outperformed the Real Clear Politics polling average. Now, I understand that the polling is hit or miss and that 13 of them were wrong. I understand. Thirteen polls had Trump winning.
And I’ve got nothing against Dr. Carson. I think Dr. Carson’s one of the finest men alive today walking this planet. This whole episode, nevertheless, boggles my mind — this whole thing — manufactured as it is. It just boggles my mind. We’re on the verge here, we conservatives, of wresting control of the Republican Party from the establishment and getting sidetracked with this stuff. It isn’t helpful. I wish it would stop, but I’m not running all these campaigns.
RUSH: Sal in Knoxville, Tennessee. I’m glad you waited. It’s your turn. How are you doing?
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Good. Thank you. I just wanted to have… I have an opinion about Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. First, Ted Cruz. I think that if he wants to get over this Ben Carson issue, he needs to man up and do exactly what Donald Trump would do. Donald Trump would give this staffer a raise because this staffer did exactly what he was supposed to do. He didn’t do anything wrong, and he did it very well. I think that Ben Carson, if he’s as mature and decent as we all think he is, then when it’s time for him to drop out, he should endorse Ted Cruz.
RUSH: Well, now it’s a… Well, I should… ‘Cause I don’t know. I don’t. The odds are that Dr. Carson was gonna drop out, but I think he had a lot invested in Iowa, and he had a lot invested in New Hampshire. Beyond that… But then there’s others who say, “No, no, no! He’s gonna say in this for as long as he can because there’s an opportunity. You get ‘former presidential candidate’ on your resume for speechmaking and TV appearances and so forth.”
Plus I gather he’s enjoying himself. He is enjoying the opportunity to get to meet people, travel the country, and have them meet him. This whole episode, however, is just… I don’t know how to describe it, other than this comes across as childish. This is politics. Your point that if a Trump staffer had done this, it would have been such a heads-up move, it would have been right what is called for at the moment: Take out an opponent.
“By God, go for it! Give the guy a raise!”
Well, it’s too late for Cruz to do that because he’s apologized. Cruz tried to move this thing along by apologizing, ’cause that’s what Dr. Carson said he wanted. And furthermore, Senator Cruz did not blame it on the staffer. He took the full force of the attack himself. And a lot of people would have blamed the staffer. A lot of people say, “I didn’t know this was going on, and I have fired the reprobate who did this. And I just want you to know that’s not who I am, and that’s not the values of my campaign.
“I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again and to make sure it doesn’t happen again, I fired the putz that did it.” Cruz did not do that. Apparently the apology wasn’t enough and it hasn’t taken. Let’s go back to the audio sound bites. Here is Cruz. This is in Goffstown, New Hampshire, yesterday, held a press conference. During the Q&A he was asked, “Can you tell us a little bit about your thoughts that Trump wants not only to do a redo of the Iowa caucuses, but thinks that your results should be nullified?”
CRUZ: It is no surprise that Donald is throwing yet another temper tantrum — or, if you like, yet another Trumper tantrum. It seems his reaction to everything is to throw a fit, to engage in insults. Because he’s losing it. But we need a commander-in-chief, not a Twitterer-in-chief. We need someone with judgment and the temperament to keep this country safe. I don’t know anyone who would be comfortable with somebody who behaves this way having his finger on the button. I mean, we’re liable to wake up one morning, and Donald, if he were president, would have nuked Denmark.
RUSH: (laughing) Nuked Denmark? Of all places to nuke! (laughing) Oh, yeah. I’ll tell you what’s interesting about this: This is always the way that the left used to go about criticizing Reagan, that Reagan was too dangerous, too immature, too dunce-like to ever put in a position where his finger would be on the nuclear button. That’s always something the Democrats say about your average Republican being stupid, dangerous, immature. And here’s Cruz turning it around and accusing Trump of being that kind of character. He wasn’t finished. He had a little bit more to say about this…
CRUZ: The American people are not interested in this circus sideshow of insults. You know, my girls are five and seven. And I gotta tell you, Caroline and Catherine are better behaved than a presidential candidate who responds by insulting everyone every day.
RUSH: Ted Cruz. That got a lot of response. People liked that. Now, when we come back, Cruz goes on CNN and tells the truth of the timeline here, what happened. He didn’t do anything, that it was the Carson camp that had to tell somebody that they were leaving the campaign. CNN found out from somebody, and that somebody was somebody in the Carson campaign. And the Rubio campaign found out who it is.
Oh, no. Well, the Rubio campaign found out; they added to it as well. It wasn’t just Cruz. It was the Rubio campaign capitalizing on all this prior to the Iowa caucuses. But it was a reporter named Moody. Greg Moody, Jeff Moody, whatever his name is at CNN. He had the original tweet that Carson was leaving the campaign and going to Florida and was not gonna… He was gonna the National Prayer Breakfast and not go to New Hampshire.
By the way, the latest is that Carson is not going to New Hampshire, even after the prayer breakfast. He’s going to North Carolina. NORTH Carolina. Now, we have nothing against North Carolina here. But the action’s in South Carolina, in terms of upcoming primaries. But Carson’s gonna go to North Carolina. He’s not gonna go to New Hampshire. At least not immediately.
Anyway, all of this… This ball was put in motion by Carson’s campaign with a tweet on CNN. So Cruz goes on to give ’em the timeline and they just couldn’t handle the fact that he was telling everybody that CNN’s the reason all this happened. They spent the rest of the night last night calling him a liar.
RUSH: Andrew in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Hello, sir. Glad you’re hear.
CALLER: Neoconservative Rams fans dittos to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much. (chuckles)
CALLER: I think the whole bogus non-bump Iowa winning story —
CALLER: — is more of an effort to protect Hillary than it is to knock anybody on the Republican side.
CALLER: And in doing so, not only are they protecting Hillary, they’re protecting Ted Cruz.
RUSH: Well, maybe. I mean, but I don’t think that when it’s all over they’re interested in protecting Ted Cruz. See, that’s the difference. What he’s talking about, folks, is the conventional wisdom that’s being reported in New Hampshire today by the Drive-Bys is that New Hampshire voters make it a point not to rubber stamp what happens in Iowa. Meaning when New Hampshire sees how Iowa votes, they make certain to vote the other way.
Meaning: “There’s no way Cruz is gonna win here, ’cause the people in New Hampshire don’t want to look like they’re rubber-stamping what Iowa did. So therefore there’s no bump. There’s no bump for Cruz! He isn’t gonna get a bump. He may as well not even have won Iowa. It doesn’t mean anything! We hate Cruz. We’ll do everything we can to keep Cruz down.” His point is, “Well, we don’t know who won on the Democrat side in Iowa.”
But, by the same token, if they think Hillary won, then they can’t go vote for Hillary. They gotta vote Bernie. And his theory is, they’re protecting Hillary. She’s supposed to lose anyway in New Hampshire, so don’t make a big deal of it when it happens. And that’s true. And the polling data says she’s gonna get skunked in New Hampshire. It’s after New Hampshire that Crazy Bernie really doesn’t even show up anywhere, folks. I hate to tell you.
RUSH: This is Ted Cruz yesterday in New Hampshire. He’s gonna press conference. And a reporter says, “Senator, you condemned what your campaign did to Ben Carson just before the Iowa caucus. Will you fire or suspend anyone from your campaign for putting out misinformation?”
CRUZ: Our political team passed on a CNN News story that CNN wrote. The news story said that Ben Carson was not continuing from Iowa on to New Hampshire, was not continuing to South Carolina. Instead, he was going home to Florida. That was a news story CNN had posted. And our political team passed it on to our supporters.
RUSH: That’s true, but it doesn’t go quite far enough. CNN did post it. And their reporter was some clown named Moody — well, reporter named Moody. Jeff or George or whatever. But where did he get it? See, this remains the area where people stop being interested. But how did CNN got hold of it? (Maybe it was Greg Moody. Just think “Moody” and you’ll have the guy.) He had to get it from Carson. He had to get it from the Carson campaign. How’s that — and Carson was not going to New Hampshire.
He was going home — as he said later — to get a change of clothes. He’s been on the road for three weeks. He had to go home and get a change of clothes. I’ve seen some snarky comments. “Hey, Dr. Carson, have you ever heard of the laundromat? Have you ever heard of the dry cleaner?” Some people have been snarky about this. “What do you mean, had to go home and change clothes?” But the point is, Cruz was right.
CNN posted it, and they had to get it from somewhere, and they got it from the Carson camp. So, last night and during the day yesterday, CNN was not happy. We have a montage. They had to defend their reporting. They had to savage Cruz as a liar for hours last night. We have Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Dylan Byers, and Brooke Baldwin all talking about Cruz’s campaign telling voters that Carson was leaving the race.
COOPER: Ted Cruz keeps saying that it all stemmed from the CNN report, which just is not factually correct. He’s saying that CNN reported that the campaign was being suspended, and that’s not what was being reported.
BURNETT: Do you think, though, that it does raise a question of character and integrity, though, that is important for people to understand? It’s Ted Cruz’s campaign, and everything that comes from it is a direct reflection on him and he’s blaming it on CNN’s reporting.
BYERS: Senator Cruz’s claims about CNN are false…
BALDWIN: Senator Cruz tries to throw my network, CNN, under the bus. That accurate report was the disseminated on television and CNN digital, and that was that. I’m going to call out BS if I hear BS.
RUSH: And that was the lovely and gracious Brooke Baldwin there saying that she’s gonna call out BS when she hears BS. Go back up to 13. What did Cruz say that has them all agitated? Listen again. (replaying of sound bite) ‘Kin’A! It’s exactly happened. CNN posted it. (interruption) The original tweet did not say that. (interruption) The written one? No, screw the news story. CNN put that tweet out there. That’s what Cruz is talking about.
Yeah, later on after the proverbial excrement hit the fan, yeah, then everybody goes into CYA mode and CNN. “Hey, wait a minute! We reported he was going back,” and Carson said, “Hey, wait a minute. I said I was returning after I got a clean clothes change. Hey.” All that’s happening there is that there was a tweet — and don’t tell me tweets don’t matter. That’s all anybody does anymore. There’s a tweet out there from a CNN guy (Chris Moody, that’s his name) that Carson was leaving, before the caucuses started.
Now, CNN can deny this left and right. They can say, “Well, we didn’t broadcast it.”
Your reporter did! Your reporter tweeted it.
It may not been CNN site, may not have been part of a CNN newscast, but a CNN reporter put it out there. That’s what Cruz saw. Anyway, you hear they are livid. Last night Anderson Cooper 360. He’s got Rick Tyler on from the Cruz campaign. “Isn’t it totally disingenuous if you say, the big announcement we’re talking about is he’s going to speak at the prayer breakfast. An e-mail is not Twitter. You have more than 140 characters. You could have just said, Carson’s speaking at the prayer breakfast. Instead you leave it this mysterious big announcement,” you Cruz people, “which it sounds like he’s dropping out, no?” Didn’t you do that on purpose?
TYLER: You know what I’m amazed by, Anderson, is that the story here is Ben Carson, instead of going to New Hampshire or South Carolina, went to Florida and Washington, DC. If Ted Cruz had decided —
COOPER: Right. I know. And we’ve — we — we — we talked about —
TYLER: “I’m going to go to Houston and have a little R&R.”
COOPER: It’s ridiculous. I agree.
TYLER: That would have been the story.
COOPER: Right. But — but — but the story is also —
TYLER: And everybody would have pointed it out, and it would have been the story. But because somehow it’s different, though. Ben Carson does it and Ted Cruz points it out and — and —
COOPER: The story is also your candidate, who is an evangelical who talks about the Bible and his belief in Christianity, perhaps lied and was completely disingenuous. That’s also a story!
RUSH: There you go! There you go! “See, there’s this Holy Roller. He’s running his campaign like a revival hour, and he’s a big Christian. He went out there and lied, and he’s trying to blame it on us. That’s what they see at CNN. “He’s trying to blame it on us.” Ben Carson does it, Ted Cruz points it out, and Cooper says, “Yeah, Ted Cruz talks about the Bible and his belief in Christianity, but perhaps lied and was completely disingenuous!”
Did Ben Carson leave Iowa? Did Ben Carson say he was gonna leave Iowa? Did Ben Carson say he wasn’t going to New Hampshire and South Carolina? Yeah, fine. Did Ben Carson later say, “Yeah, I needed to go home and get a change of clothes?” Has anybody stepped forward, even now and said, “Hey, you know what, I intended to vote for Carson in the caucus, but I didn’t when I saw what Cruz said that he left.” Has anybody come forward and said so? Not that I’ve heard of.
Does anybody think Ben Carson was cheated out of 25,000 votes and would have come in third place? “Breaking news! Breaking news! Bulletin, bulletin, bulletin! The press is reporting Dr. Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week!” This is the e-mail the Cruz camp sent out: “Breaking news! Breaking news! The press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson…” Did I grab your attention there? See, you thought… See, this is how it’s done. You thought I had brand-new breaking news, right?
This is what the Cruz team sent out.
“Dear so-and-so. Breaking news: The press is reporting Dr. Ben Carson’s taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and is making a big announcement next week. Please inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Cruz.” Ha-ha-ha. Haw haw haw. (interruption) Oh, Snerdley thinks it’s a dirty trick. You commend them for it but it was a dirty trick? Okay, Cruz has apologized, and it should have been the end of it. Exactly right. That should have been the end of it. Let me ask you something.
If Cruz had fired somebody like we know Dr. Carson wanted to happen, would that have been the end of it? (interruption) Okay. Do you think Ted Cruz should give up his votes in the caucus or maybe redo the whole thing because he cheated and played so bad dastardly a dirty trick? (interruption) Okay. You don’t think that the Iowa co should be redone. You think Ted Cruz should be sued for this dirty trick? Even though he was born in Canada?
RUSH: Gail in Akron. I’m glad you waited. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Oh, Rush. Since your procedure a year and a half ago or so, I have to tell you it delights me to hear you sing from time to time.
RUSH: Well, thank you. You mean my ear procedure?
RUSH: Well, thank you so much.
CALLER: And also from time to time a caller will say something that is very rare and you give this low growl of a chuckle like they picked up on the subtle hint you were hoping?
CALLER: But the main reason for my call is that, I don’t know how the decision was made for Iowa to be first in the nation, but we are proud to abide by this decision and to serve our nation by narrowing the playing field so that New Hampshire can follow on our heels and their votes are even more valuable because we narrow that playing field. And by choosing the candidate… You know, I mean, Iowa is the breadbasket, the heart of the heartland, rural, agricultural.
And then to follow that up with New Hampshire being in the midst of the political area of the nation, an urban area, the diversity of our lifestyles… For Iowa to say this and New Hampshire to say something totally other? You know, we’re not insulted by the fact that we don’t often choose the winning candidate. And then we follow through with South Carolina and then Nevada and Super Tuesday. That’s the whole meaning of the process is to get the diversity of the different lifestyles from around the nation and narrow that playing field.
RUSH: So you’re proud to be first. You’re proud to be an Iowan that begins the winnowing process?
CALLER: Yes. But it’s very crucial that it is followed by New Hampshire. And the one thing about both Iowa and New Hampshire is that we are not swayed by the polls and by the media. We make our own decisions.
RUSH: Well, that’s obviously very true. That’s clear because the polling data going into the Iowa caucus had Trump up by four, and that was not the case. So, yeah, I understand what you’re saying. I appreciate the call, Gail, very, very much. That’s true. It’s Iowa, New Hampshire, and then South Carolina, then Nevada, and then Super Tuesday. That’s exactly right. She’s exactly right. That’s how it happens. It’s all very important.