Thursday, February 4, 2016

More Muddled Message From Ben Carson

The Ben Carson campaign has been capitalizing on a kerfluffle regarding a CNN report just as the Iowa Caucuses were starting that Carson was suspending his campaign. Other opponents, such as the Cruz and Rubio campaign, trumpeted the information to their grassroots operatives.  A subsequent clarification from the Carson campaign that he was off the campaign trail for a few days to get some R&R as well as fresh clothes, were not passed along to the Caucus precinct captains.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) publicly apologized for not passing along the additional information.  Some have been scandalized by a recorded telephone call (isn't dissemination a felony unless there's two party consent?) that the Cruz campaign pushed a suspended campaign pitch to win over Carson voters.

Dr. Carson has perseverated on this point.  First, he claimed Christianity forced him to accept the apology but then his forgiveness was conditional.  Then his expectation evolved to having heads roll in the Cruz campaign.  Now in day three of this contrived controversy, Dr. Carson went on television to demand:"Don't do what's legal, but what's right". Whatever does that mean in the primary process?

In addition, is this selective outrage?  The Rubio campaign was also trafficking in this report. Why is Cruz the sole focus? Is it animus against Cruz because some of his New Hampshire staff and fund-raisers defected to Cruz?  Is it because both Cruz and Carson are competing for the same sliver of the Republican primary electorate?  Or is it to gang up on the front runner which neither the establishment nor the press likes?

That pious platitude is about as clear as Carson's campaign clarification that he was leaving the campaign trail to get fresh clothes in the heat of a primary that could determine the viability of the Carson campaign.

It is unclear what Carson really wants, other than more publicity and burnishing his personal brand. Perhaps he will answer when he returns to New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon for the Republican Debate.  But if he thinks that this whiny, ambiguous complaints about past contests endears himself to conservatives, he is as mistaken as former Governor Sarah Palin was about her endorsement of Donald Trump for President

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