- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson said Wednesday that Sen. Ted Cruz’s last-minute campaign tricks in Iowa cost him votes in the caucuses, and he challenged the Texas Republican to do more to demonstrate his Christian faith.

“By their fruit you will know them,” Mr. Carson said at a hastily called press conference at the National Press Club in Washington as he returned to the campaign trail two days after his fourth-place showing in Iowa.

While he didn’t mention Mr. Cruz by name during his prepared remarks, he said later that he did in fact have the Texas Republican in mind when he challenged the entire GOP field to live up to the Gospel in the way they run their campaigns.

Mr. Carson says the Cruz campaign spread false rumors that he was dropping out of the race in the hours ahead of the caucuses, and he believes those rumors cost him votes.

Mr. Cruz called Mr. Carson on Tuesday and denied he approved the tactic, but apologized nonetheless, the retired doctor said. Mr. Carson said Mr. Cruz should fire those responsible for the rumors.

Iowa’s results were a disappointment for Mr. Carson, who at one point during the fall had led polling in the state, surmounting even national front-runner Donald Trump.

Mr. Carson had stoked rumors he might drop out of the race when his campaign announced he would take a couple of days off the trail after Iowa, returning to Florida to recoup. Mr. Carson said he needed to pick up clean clothes, and then always planned to head to Washington, where he is expected to take part in the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

The next contest is Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire, where Mr. Carson polls at the back of the pack of candidates remaining in the race. He is doing better — in the middle of the pack — in South Carolina, whose primary follows a week and a half after New Hampshire.

Mr. Carson said he’ll stay in the race as long as he detects a clamor for him, based on social media reaction and on his fundraising numbers.

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