Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) apologized during Saturday night's GOP debate for his campaign’s decision to tell supporters on the eve of the Iowa caucus that Dr. Ben Carson had dropped out of the presidential primary race.
Cruz claimed that his campaign had misinterpreted a CNN report that Carson would not be continuing on to New Hampshire and South Carolina after the Iowa caucus. CNN, Cruz said, called the announcement “highly significant."
Cruz said that he had since apologized to Carson, whom he considers a friend.
Prior to Cruz's apology, Carson had made a bizarre, thinly-veiled attack on the Cruz campaign’s decision to tell its supporters that Carson had dropped out of the race.
Carson noted that Saturday would have been former President Ronald Reagan’s 105th birthday and quoted Reagan’s “eleventh commandment” -- “Thou shall not speak ill of thy fellow Republican.”
But if Carson implied that he would not criticize Cruz, he did not exactly follow Reagan’s dictum in his next comment.
He said that the Cruz campaign’s announcement, which some have argued was intended to get Carson supporters to caucus for Cruz, was an “insult” to the “hundreds and maybe thousands” of young volunteers for the Carson campaign.
Carson noted that one of them had “even died” while volunteering for his campaign.
Carson campaign volunteer Braden Joplin indeed died in a car crash in Atlantic, Iowa, in January.
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