Cruz Camp Mischief in Iowa? Not so Much.

Shortly after Ted Cruz’s historic victory in Iowa, some allegations of dirty tricks on the part of the Cruz campaign have surfaced. The claim is that the Cruz camp lied to Iowa Caucus supporters of Carson, saying that Ben was dropping out, in order to get them to switch their votes to Cruz. * Concerned that a candidate who stakes his name on trust would put that on the line haphazardly, I looked into the matter, and what I found was that the allegations were severely wanting. Please, read on as I walk you through the evidence while I give what I believe to be a reasonable explanation, and then you can draw your own conclusions.

According to The Washington Post, Dr. Carson announced that he was skipping the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries to go home to Florida. ** Carson said this at some point on caucus night, and this information reached the Cruz Camp approximately between 6 and 8 PM, based on the time stamp of Cruz campaigner Steve King’s tweet King Tweetregarding the matter. If you look at Rep. King’s tweets, it’s clear that he believed that Dr. Carson’s statement signified that Ben was getting out and he wanted to take advantage of the news, presumably before Rubio or Trump did.

This quote from the WP article says it all, “Political reporters and strategists have no idea what to make of Carson’s decision. The most obvious theory is that he is preparing to drop out, but his campaign insists that is not the case.” ** It is my belief that the Cruz camp most likely would’ve had people on hand to witness Ben make his statement and forward it on, and they wouldn’t have paused for assurances from Carson’s people to confirm his intentions. Why should they? The only reasonable conclusion is that the Cruz folks genuinely believed that Ben was calling it quits and wanted to use that information. If the Cruz camp jumped the gun because they saw something that looked and quacked like a duck but in actuality wasn’t, that doesn’t make them liars or sneaky, but just mistaken and maybe a bit too eager. Such things can happen on a political campaign, even unmaliciously, in the fog of war.

I suspect that my conclusion will be poor consolation to the supporters of other candidates who didn’t do as well as Cruz in the Iowa Caucus, those nursing their wounds with the conviction that their guy would’ve won if Ted hadn’t cheated, but that is likely not what happened when all the facts are considered. As far as is known, Ted Cruz won fair and square. The bottom line is that if Carson was not getting out, and if (and that’s a very big “if”) this information caused Carson to lose even a single percentage point (his RCP average was only 7.7%; *** Carson ended up with 9.3% *), then Carson has only himself to blame for not thinking through how such an announcement might be interpreted. This turn of events is, I’m sure, regrettable for both candidates, but the controversy is more likely to highlight Carson’s inexperience with politics than it is to prove any dirty deeds on the part of the Cruz campaign.


– Ryan Thorson








How Media Scrutiny Might Help the GOP


By now, many of you are aware of the recent allegations made against the GOP front-runner, Ben Carson. It seems that Politico and other media organizations are challenging claims that Carson has made about youthful violence he committed and also about being informally offered a scholarship to West Point by General Westmoreland. Where the former seems a little obsessive (I mean, are they trying to prove that he’s even nicer than he claims?), the latter might have a bit to it. While it is demonstrably false (to anyone with a search engine) to claim that West Point doesn’t offer scholarships, * the allegation that Westmoreland’s records indicate that he was not in Detroit on the date in question ** might have some legs. We’ll have to wait and see how Carson responds and weathers this gale.

It is true that Carson is under some unfair scrutiny that the media routinely doesn’t apply, or at least half-heatedly applies, to Democrat candidates. I certainly don’t recall the media pouring through Obama’s memoirs, hounding him (at least before he was safely elected) about his “composite” girlfriend *** or the girl he supposedly bullied in school **** or any number of apocryphal stories contained in his autobiographies like they seem to be doing with Carson. However, before we storm the battlements of fortress media, we should consider treading very carefully in how we go to Carson’s aid. I know it’s tempting to repay the left and the left-wing media for treating as racist all those honest disagreeing arguments we made against the policies, beliefs, and dubious background of Barack Obama. Even as emotionally satisfying as it would be to give the media a taste of their own medicine and throw our own denouncements at the media for appearing prejudice, I’m not sure that the time for that is now. Additionally, I have no doubts that the media wants to destroy the eventual GOP candidate and Ben Carson in particular. As a black conservative, Carson poses a unique threat to the left-wing establishment, as they believe that they alone own minorities and their issues, and certainly don’t want a Carson, Cruz, or Fiorina front and center as a powerful example to show minorities and women that you can have different opinions other than the ones allowed them by patronizing Democrats and the media. Also, it is probable that the progressive elites see GOP minorities as traitors, and as such, they occasionally give themselves dispensation to deal with them in ways that, under normal circumstances, they would have called racist (i.e. The Young Turks calling a Black GOP candidate an “Uncle Tom” *****). I understand all that. However, in this case, all we have is the media aggressively pursuing a presidential candidate and the veracity of his claims. But, isn’t that what we want? Don’t we want a dogged media?

Of course, when it comes to the media, what conservatives often complain about most is that there is very little parity between how they treat the people and issues that they agree with and how they treat the ones they don’t, and that certainly is a fair argument. We don’t want the press to be super-friendly to the GOP, but rather have them deal as harshly with the Democrats as they do Republicans. Personally, I’m confident that Hillary would be out of the race today, and probably in jail, if the media would apply the same Woodward and Bernstein style relentless pursuit of the truth on her as they did with Nixon. Yet, even with this imbalance, we want the media to be tough, don’t we? Don’t you think it’s good if Carson is treated as a candidate rather than a coddled minority-candidate? Shouldn’t he be treated like an adult, a grown man, and not like Obama who, much like a spoiled child, seemed to get fawning praise from all the media fan-boys, even before trying to do anything? If Carson is going to be our nominee, don’t we want him exposed to an aggressive media now, his mistakes vetted in the primary, leaving him a much better prepared candidate, with an exhibited toughness, and without any October surprises in the general election? I know I do. Additionally, I enjoyed hearing Carson fight back at his press conference ******; it made him sound more forceful than he has seemed up until now.

So, don’t worry too much about the way the media treats GOP candidates now, because, in all probability, this may help us. Yes, our candidates will have to fight tooth and nail and use every ethical and creative way that they can to get their message past the information guardians in the media while the Democrats encounter only token resistance. However, just think about how prepared our side will be, and then think about Hillary and the Democrats. While the media may be able to imply prevarication in Ben Carson’s story of a childhood scrap or in being offered a scholarship to West Point, on the other hand we have Hillary’s e-mails showing that she absolutely did lie to the American people, and repeatedly, about the circumstances surrounding the murder of our ambassador while at the same time she told her family and other officials the truth that very day. *******  Hillary and her partners in the press have done as much as they can to avoid tackling this and the other allegations of her committing felonies. Consider how much that’s going to hurt them when the real case is laid out before the American people in the general election.

Ryan Thorson








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