Donald Trump has moved from a classy concession speech to a full-on Twitter rant about Ted Cruz committing voter fraud to win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday.
In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump called for Monday's ballots to be thrown out in light of reports that Cruz's campaign spread false rumors about fellow candidate Ben Carson and Trump himself.
Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
What Trump is talking about when he says "voter fraud"
On Monday, Cruz's campaign released a statement implying that Carson was going to suspend his campaign after Iowa, leading some Iowans to vote for Cruz instead.
The email, sent to Gawker, with a Ted Cruz header and signed by one of his campaign workers, said:
Breaking news: The press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week.
Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted Cruz.
Cruz supporters, including Iowa Rep. Steve King disseminated the message over social media, further pushing the message that Carson was out of the running.
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
However, Carson — who was indeed taking time off from the campaign trail to get "fresh clothes," according to his campaign spokesperson Jason Osborne — has no plans to suspend his campaign right now.
.@RealBenCarson leaving Des Moines later tonight to avoid storm. Not suspending -- getting fresh clothes then back out Wednesday— Jason Osborne (@Jmrhosborne) February 2, 2016
After polling at just over 9 percent in the Iowa caucuses, Carson said Cruz's campaign email to his grassroots leaders had a significant negative impact on his polling numbers and was a deciding factor in his fourth-place finish.
"I got calls from several people who told me their internal intelligence said that I was going to do extraordinarily well," Carson said in a phone interview with Fox News.
Trump threw his support behind Carson on Twitter, also bringing light to Cruz's other campaign tactics, including a dubious "voter violation" mailer, which gave individual households poor grades for their voting records (which many suspected were simply made up) and encouraged them to fix it by voting for Cruz. Trump also alleged that Cruz's camp told caucus-goers he is in favor of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which Trump says is "a total lie."
Many people voted for Cruz over Carson because of this Cruz fraud. Also, Cruz sent out a VOTER VIOLATION certificate to thousands of voters.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
The Voter Violation certificate gave poor marks to the unsuspecting voter(grade of F) and told them to clear it up by voting for Cruz. Fraud— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
And finally, Cruz strongly told thousands of caucusgoers (voters) that Trump was strongly in favor of ObamaCare and "choice" - a total lie!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
What Cruz's campaign says about all of this
While Trump calls for a redo of the caucuses, Carson has said Cruz's "dirty tricks" have only spurred him on in the campaign. On MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday, Cruz's communications director, Rick Tyler, denied any allegations that the campaign was spreading misinformation.
"It's just false. We simply as a campaign repeated what Ben Carson had said in his own words," Tyler said. "He said after Iowa he was going to go back to Florida for a couple of days and then he was going to go to DC to the prayer breakfast. And what that told us was he was not going to New Hampshire. That's not a ‘dirty trick.’ That was really surprising by a campaign who was once leading in Iowa saying he's not going to come to New Hampshire. That's a news item."
Tyler added that the mailer was not dirty politics, but just a reminder to people that "it was their obligation and duty to vote."
Cruz apologized to Carson, conceding that his campaign should have updated their network that Carson was not dropping out of the race.
Carson told CNN he, "as a Christian," accepts the apology.