Trump’s humility lasted one day. He dramatically returned to form by accusing the Cruz campaign of committing voter fraud to steal the Iowa caucus vote.
The State of Iowa should disqualify Ted Cruz from the most recent election on the basis that he cheated- a total fraud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
“That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got more votes than anticipated,” Trump tweeted.
Trump had a point. It stemmed from Cruz supporters taking advantage of neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s decision to fly to his Florida home instead of going directly to New Hampshire to resume campaigning. Carson placed fourth in the Iowa voting.
As the caucusing was starting in Iowa, Cruz supporters circulated hints that Carson’s return to Florida could mean he was dropping out of the race and his followers were urged to switch to Cruz. Carson angrily denied he was quitting and his campaign said his return to Florida was simply to pick up fresh clothes. Carson then went to Washington to attend the National Prayer Breakfast before hitting the campaign trail again.
“There has never been a more tainted victory in the Iowa caucuses,” declared a Carson campaign spokesman.
Cruz issued an apology to Carson, then dismissed Trump’s outburst as a “Trumpertantrum’’and said he understands “Donald finds it very hard to lose.”
Some Iowa Republicans characterized the Cruz camp’s effort as a dirty trick but not fraud. Trump continued to accuse Cruz of stealing a victory in Iowa and called for a re-vote, though prospects of that happening are regarded as unlikely.