Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Friday blasted rival Ted Cruz’s campaign for an “unethical” email sent just before the Iowa caucus that suggested he had dropped out of the race.
“Well, let’s put it this way. That was a very unethical thing for them to do,” the retired neurosurgeon told the hosts of “The View” on Friday. “It would’ve taken them seconds to verify whether that was true or not. So obviously someone wanted to take advantage of the situation.”
Ahead of the Iowa caucus, staffers for the Texas senator circulated an email falsely suggesting that Carson’s planned trip to Florida indicated he was ending his campaign. In reality, the candidate only planned to take a short trip home before continuing his campaign in New Hampshire.
“I don’t think this is a very difficult investigation,” Carson said. “Is this what we accept now? Or do we have higher standards than that? Because that will determine what kind of society we’re going to be.”
Moderator Joy Behar pushed the candidate to answer whether or not he believed Ted Cruz “stole” his votes in the caucus — Cruz ended up winning, besting second place-finisher Donald Trump by three percentage points — but Carson dodged the question.
“I just think that anybody who accepts this kind of behavior and doesn’t feel that there’s anything that needs to be done about it has a different standard of ethics than I do,” he replied.
Behar also asked Carson if he was surprised to see evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. endorse Trump and Cruz winning among evangelical voters, despite Carson’s outspoken stance on his faith. But the candidate shrugged it off, saying that the support of Christians was not important.
“Quite frankly, the only real endorsements are the endorsements that come from the American people,” Carson said. “What we are doing is for the American people, it’s not for any group in particular.”