Ted Cruz apologized to Ben Carson on Tuesday for his campaign's failure to inform its supporters on Monday night that Ben Carson was not suspending his presidential campaign.
Carson accused Cruz's team of using "dirty tricks" in Iowa by spreading a CNN report which said Carson would not be immediately traveling to New Hampshire or South Carolina to suggest the retired neurosurgeon was getting out of the race.
Cruz said his campaign had sent the CNN report to his supporters, but called it a "mistake" that his campaign didn't send Carson campaign's statement clarifying that their candidate was not dropping out and was instead making a planned trip home to rest and get fresh clothes before returning to the campaign trail.
"Yesterday when CNN reported and put up a post that Carson was not continuing on to New Hampshire and was not continuing on to South Carolina, but instead was flying home to Florida, our political team forwarded that story to our supporters," Cruz told Boston radio host Jeff Kuhner. "What the team didn't do is, subsequently, the Carson campaign put out a statement, clarifying that he was not suspending his campaign, and the team did not forward that statement to the supporters as well. That was a mistake. It was mistake for us not to have forwarded the second statement as well. And I apologize to Ben for our not forwarding that second statement."
Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler defended the Cruz campaign's actions to reporters on Tuesday morning.
"CNN reported that the Carson campaign was not going to New Hampshire or South Carolina but instead was going to Florida and was going to DC," Tyler said. "That's a news story. We share news stories every day with our campaign, we share hundreds of news stories every day with our campaign, that was another news story we shared with our campaign."
"No one on the campaign said he was going to drop out or suspend his campaign, that's up to him," Tyler added, saying that not going to New Hampshire or South Carolina was like "skipping the playoff game and expecting to win the Super Bowl."
In the radio interview, Cruz added that he thinks "the world of Ben Carson."
"Well, listen, I think the world of Ben Carson," the Iowa caucus winner said. "Ben is a man of principle, a man of integrity, Ben and Candy have become friends, we've had dinner with them more than once and Heidi and I have really grown to like and respect the two of them personally."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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