Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson says his opponents in the Iowa caucuses were using “dirty tricks” to make sure he fell into a fourth place finish.
“I was reasonably happy today until I discovered the dirty tricks that were going on,” Carson told his supporters.
“And people spreading rumors that I had dropped out and that people should caucus for somebody else,” he continued. “I mean, do you think that that is something that’s acceptable?”
While Ben Carson didn’t say who was engaging in those dirty tricks, multiple reports say his campaign was placing the blame on Senator Ted Cruz.
Carson also indicated that he would give his speech early in the night so he could catch a flight home to Florida, where he planned to get some rest. His opponents on the other hand planned to immediately travel to New Hampshire or South Carolina.
Following his decision to head home for some relaxation, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of Cruz’s most prominent supporters, wrote on Twitter: “Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope.”
Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope. https://t.co/lW5Js50EMA
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) February 2, 2016
MSNBC reported that Carson’s campaign accused Cruz supporters at individual Iowa precincts of spreading false rumors about the end of Carson’s campaign.
Carson’s team denied those rumors and said the candidate was leaving early to avoid a snowstorm and “get a fresh set of clothes.”
During his speech Ben Carson quoted Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and the Bible.
“I believe so much in America, but for some reason, we have allowed things to slip,” he said. “And it was Josef Stalin who I guess put it very succinctly. He said, ‘In order to destroy America … you have to undermine three principles: their spiritual life, their patriotism, and their morality.'”
Speaking further about Stalin he added, “If you can undermine those things, America will collapse from within.”
“Well, we’re within the process of collapsing from within if we continue to accept deceit and dirty tricks and lies. And people who do that are still viable candidates for president of the United States. And we accept it. That’s the problem that’s going on,” he said.
Carson has promised that he’s “not going anywhere” and that he plans to work even harder to overcome “dirty tricks.”
Here’s Ben Carson’s full post-Iowa speech.