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Hullabaloo


Saturday, February 20, 2016

 
That time where I actually defend Ted Cruz


by digby





















I have to say that I don't blame Ted Cruz for being irked that Ben Carson is sanctimoniously slamming him for a dirty trick that made absolutely no difference in the race just to give that sick piece of work Donald Trump a talking point and fund raise for his con-job of a campaign. Obviously, I find Cruz's policies to be reprehensible in every way, and I don't support his ugly politics,  but Carson is just milking the situation for his own purposes and if I were Cruz I would find Carson's endless hand-wringing about this alleged fraud that happened in the final half hour in Iowa to be intensely frustrating. It's not as if Cruz stole the election from him.  Carson got 9% of the vote!

Anyway, I hate defending Ted Cruz for anything but this is just gratuitous grifting for Carson's "campaign", a campaign which doesn't really exist:
Two grown men running for president met in a storage closet last night.

The meeting, called by Ted Cruz in an attempt to mend fences with Ben Carson ahead of the South Carolina primary, was held on Thursday night before the Conservative Review convention. The two huddled in the unusual venue for nearly 20 to 25 minutes, as Carson’s Secret Service detail stood outside, according to a Republican operative who witnessed the strange scene.

Carson, whose campaign has spent the weeks after Iowa blasting Cruz for lying to voters in the Hawkeye State, agreed to meet him for five minutes, according to a source close to Carson’s campaign, to try to put to bed the issue of his dirty campaign tricks in Iowa, during which Cruz’s campaign told caucus-goers that Carson had dropped out of the race.

Carson’s campaign confirmed the meeting—which was was supposed to be short and off-the-record—and blamed the Cruz campaign for leaking the fact that it occurred in an attempt to rectify his public image.

Given previous opportunities to accept responsibility for his actions, Cruz blamed a report from CNN, alleging that it misled his campaign into thinking that the former neurosurgeon was no longer in the presidential contest. In the weeks after the Iowa caucus, the 2016 Committee, a PAC affiliated with Carson, has spent a great deal of time fundraising off of Cruz’s lie.

Cruz has been under fire since Iowa from Donald Trump, Carson, and now Marco Rubio for what they call dirty campaign tricks. Most recently the Rubio campaign slammed Cruz for a ridiculous photoshopped image that depicted Marco Rubio shaking (left) hands with President Obama.

“We weren’t going to comment to the press on it, but it seems pretty clear that the other party involved had a different agenda,” Jason Osborne, senior communications strategist for Carson’s campaign, told The Daily Beast. “How else could we perceive that to be?”

He said that he was informed late about the meeting and didn’t have time to prepare Carson at all. It “did not go well.”

The meeting, which took place in a storage closet across from a bathroom at the convention center on Thursday, ended with Carson saying “we agree to disagree.”

“We disagree on accountability and culpability,” is how Carson put it, according to Osborne.

A Republican operative told The Daily Beast that the Cruz campaign wanted to have the conversation on “neutral ground,” so they would not allow for it to take place in Carson’s green room, which was right next to Cruz’s.

Reporters were allegedly already calling the Carson campaign as the meeting was going on, with the two full-grown men in a closet that allegedly had no chairs, which indicates that someone leaked details in advance of The Daily Beast being informed about the meeting.

Secret Service members were guarding the door and simply said to a Republican operative in the hallway: “Yeah, they’re in that closet.”

It is unclear if there were lights inside of it.

The Secret Service is still guarding Carson for no good reason. I don't know if Cruz has similar protection but I was unable to find any reporting that he does.

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