The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump: Either Iowa Needs to Re-Vote or Cruz’s Results Must Be Nullified

Hey, remember Donald Trump’s gracious, sunny, brief concession speech in Iowa? Yeah, never mind all that.

Let’s take these allegations one at a time…

The Cruz campaign did indeed send out a message that CNN reported “Ben Carson will stop campaigning after Iowa,” a statement that implies he’s quitting, which is false. Carson was going back to Florida for fresh clothes. Cruz apologized for his campaign’s actions, as he should. 

But there’s not much evidence that this message from the Cruz camp actually hurt Carson on caucus night. Here’s the percentage of the vote that Ben Carson had in the final seven polls of Iowa Republicans before the caucus: 8, 7, 9, 10, 8, 9, 3. That averages out to 7.7 percent. He finished with 9.3 percent.

Picture it: It’s caucus night and you’re a Carson supporter. You show up, ready to vote for your man, and right before voting begins, some Cruz supporter comes up to you and says, “Hey, I just heard Carson’s quitting the race.” You just take that at face value? You don’t check your phone or talk to other Carson supporters to try to verify this? Wouldn’t your B.S. detector go off, upon being told that your favorite candidate decided to quit right before the voting starts? These flinty, discerning Iowans abandon ship upon hearing a rumor? The Cruz campaign’s move was morally wrong, but so far we haven’t seen evidence it was consequential.

The “VOTER VIOLATION” mailer was also done by the Cruz campaign, and he got plenty of bad publicity about it in the final 48 hours, including a denunciation from Iowa’s Secretary of State. It’s more likely that the flyer hurt Cruz more than it helped him. 

As for the claim Trump supports Obamacare, Cruz is characterizing Trump’s position based upon this:

Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.

Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?

Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably—

Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it?

Trump: —the government’s gonna pay for it.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to characterize Trump’s preferred plan as “single payer.” (If Trump doesn’t want his view on health care mischaracterized, perhaps he could try putting out a detailed plan instead of off-the-cuff descriptions.)

As for calling Trump “pro-choice,” Cruz is not accurately describing Trump’s current positions, although some pro-lifers wonder if Trump’s conversion to their cause is really genuine.

Of course, Trump said Cruz wasn’t a U.S. citizen right before the caucuses, so if Trump wants to nullify a candidate’s finish solely because of a false statement…



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