…………………..What Did You Do?
Ted Cruz ended his presidential campaign Tuesday night after a rout in Indiana, unable to gain traction against a rival he calls a pathological liar.
Donald Trump is still about 200 delegates shy of the magic number needed to clinch the Republican nomination. Cruz’s decision will make it far easier for the New York mogul to collect the 1,237 delegate majority needed to avert a contested convention, leaving the anti-Trump effort demoralized and struggling.
Campaign manager Jeff Roe confirmed that Cruz is suspending his campaign.
The concession of defeat came on one of the most vitriol=filled days of a tumultuous campaign. The senator’s wife, Heidi Cruz, joined him at a converted train station in downtown Indianapolis, evening light streaming through the stain glass onto 200 or so dismayed supporters.
Indiana was not a must=win state for Trump. But he won decisively. For Cruz, who had painted the Hoosier State as a crucial front in the battle to keep the nomination from Trump, the loss was devastating. Cruz spent most of the last two weeks in Indiana. He named a running mate there. He persuaded Ohio Gov. John Kasich to retreat to bolster his own chances. And yet he may have lost nearly all of the state’s 57 delegates…
Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who briefly led the Republican presidential race before his campaign began an extended public implosion, told his supporters in a statement Wednesday afternoon that he does not see a “path forward” and will not attend Thursday’s debate in Detroit.
Carson, however, did not formally suspend his campaign. Instead, he said in the statement that he has decided to make a speech about his political future on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, just outside Washington.
“I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results,” the statement said. “However, this grassroots movement on behalf of ‘We the People’ will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations.”
The announcement will serve as an acknowledgment that Carson’s candidacy is all but over following a disappointing showing in the 11 states that held contests on Tuesday.
The decision follows months of candidate stumbles, staff infighting and strategy shifts derailing what had once appeared to be an unstoppable journey to conservative superstardom. It also marks the coming departure of the only high profile African American candidate in the 2016 presidential race.
Carson, 64, burst onto the political scene in early 2013 when, addressing the typically nonpartisan National Prayer Breakfast, he spoke about the dangers of political correctness, put forward the idea of a flat tax and criticized President Obama’s health-care law. What stood out was that he did so right beside a steely-faced Obama.
That week, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial titled “Ben Carson for President.” By August of that year, there was a “National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee.” Before he launched his presidential bid last May, the group had raised close to $16 million, gotten a half-million signatures encouraging Carson to run and had 30,000 active volunteers across the country, according to organizers.
The media whirlwind was hardly his first brush with fame. Before he took the conservative world by storm, Carson was famous for an up-from-his-bootstraps life story, from impoverished childhood to a high-profile neurosurgery career. He was, at 33, the youngest major division director in Johns Hopkins Hospital history, and he was the first pediatric neurosurgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head. He wrote a best-selling book, “Gifted Hands,” about his life, which later became a television movie.
The same bluntness that catapulted him into contention in a year that favored plain-spoken insurgents and outsider candidates earned him criticism as well. He found himself in political hot water for calling the Affordable Care Act the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” saying that the United States now is “very much like Nazi Germany” and predicting that allowing same-sex marriage could lead to legalized bestiality.
Even his political team admitted from the start that perhaps he needed to work on his messaging. “If I could create the Webster’s dictionary of words Dr. Carson could use in the campaign, there would be some words I’d leave out,” his former campaign chairman, Terry Giles, told The Washington Post before Carson officially jumped into the race in May. Later, when Donald Trump grabbed headlines, the usually mild-mannered Carson was urged to dial it up and take the mogul on more aggressively.
Carson resisted that advice as well. Until the end, he sought to offer himself to Republicans as a calm and steady hand, untouched by Washington.
“Many people told me that this business is corrupt, that it’s evil, that it’s how it’ll always be,” Carson said in a phone interview Monday. “But I don’t believe that we have to accept that. We should rail against that, fight against it, and get something that’s decent and inspirational.”
His performance may have played a role in his political undoing. Even as his “politically incorrect” style played well in places with staunchly conservative bases, his apparent unfamiliarity with many policy fundamentals, particularly on national security issues, made some voters wary.
His support dropped precipitously in the weeks after two high-profile terrorist attacks, bringing him from second place just behind Trump to fourth or fifth place in most national polls.
“Unfortunately, Paris happened. San Bernardino happened,” he told The Post earlier this year. “Somehow the narrative has been projected that if you’re soft-spoken and mild-mannered, there is no way you can deal with terrorism, with national security, that you’re not a strong person.”
It wasn’t just Carson’s often unfiltered and unseasoned approach that cost him; his advisers’ did as well, as internal feuds played out publicly, and candidate and campaign deficits were spotlighted in unusually detailed media admissions by some staffers and advisers.
Disagreements within the campaign’s highest ranks broke out into the open on numerous occasions, highlighting a persistent and sharp division between Armstrong Williams – Carson’s longtime business manager, who was not formally part of the campaign – and Barry Bennett, the Republican operative who led it.
As Carson fell from top-tier status, he publicly blamed campaign aides for his drop in the polls – calling some of them overpaid and ineffective – and vowed a staff shake-up in an interview arranged by Williams without Bennett’s knowledge. Carson backtracked hours later, but within days, several of his most experienced campaign hands, including Bennett, had resigned.
A new campaign chairman was named: retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert F. Dees – previously a Carson policy adviser who, like the candidate himself, had never before been involved in a political campaign.
The departure of a string of senior aides didn’t end the behind-the-scenes drama. Within weeks, reporters were sent a list of the only staffers they were to contact for campaign comment and for candidate interview requests – a list that pointedly did not include Williams.
The Carson campaign war chest, which had been flush with cash after solid fundraising quarters earlier in the race, began shrinking dramatically amid questions about how the money was being spent. Carson made further sweeping changes last month, cutting staff salaries and shrinking his traveling entourage.
“We had to get a much better check on the finances. I was appalled when I did a deep dive and saw what was going on. We saw that and stopped it,” Carson said in the Monday interview.
The mild-mannered candidate soon lashed out at individuals he accused of sabotaging his presidential bid, including rival Ted Cruz of Texas, whose campaign falsely circulated the idea that Carson was going to quit the race on the night of the Iowa caucuses.
He followed up a distant fourth-place showing in Iowa with last-place showings in New Hampshire and in South Carolina, a state he had once said would be a special focus. He polled poorly again in the 11 GOP primaries and caucuses Tuesday night.
When asked Monday whether he would ever reenter politics if he left the race, Carson chuckled at the prospect.
“I’m certainly not looking for something to do,” he said, adding that his plan after leaving medicine in 2013 was to retire to Palm Beach, Fla., with his wife.
“I’m not going to disappear,” he said. “But yes, if I didn’t think the country needed what we’re doing, I’d be there.”
A judge in Cook County Circuit Court will hear testimony Friday in a lawsuit filed by an Illinois voter that alleges Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz should not be allowed to run for president, CNN and ABC are reporting.
Lawrence Joyce, an Illinois voter who has objected to Cruz’s placement on the Illinois primary ballot next month, will have his case heard in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. Joyce’s previous objection, made to the state’s Board of Elections, was dismissed on February 1.
Joyce challenges Cruz’s right to be president in the wake of questions put forth by GOP rival Donald Trump about being born in Canada, according to CNN.
Cruz maintains he is a natural-born citizen since his mother is American-born.
“My case presents the perfect opportunity for Donald Trump himself to step forward and bring the matter to court personally,” Joyce told WBBM radio.
Joyce, of Poplar Grove, Ill., said he’s concerned about what could happen if Cruz is the Republican nominee, saying the Democrats could file a challenge in the fall, ABC’s channel 7 in Chicago reported.
“At that point, all of his fundraising would dry up. And his support in the polls would drop dramatically. He may be forced at that point to resign the nomination,” Joyce said.
Joyce said he has not spoken to the Trump campaign and that he supports Republican contender Ben Carson.
The Trump and Cruz campaigns could not immediately be reached.
An attorney for the Ted Cruz campaign asked a Cook County judge Friday to dismiss an Illinois man’s lawsuit challenging the Texas senator’s eligibility to run for president, citing that the Republican hopeful wasn’t properly served with the complaint.
Lawrence Joyce, an Illinois voter and Ben Carson supporter, brought his complaint earlier this month to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which dismissed it.
Now, he is appealing the case with the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, asking it to rule Cruz ineligible to run in next month’s GOP primary in Illinois. Joyce challenges whether the senator from Texas meets the criteria to serve as president because he was born in Canada.
Sharee Langenstein, an attorney for Cruz, said in court Friday it is “very, very clear” the Cook County court doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear the case because state law stipulates the candidate be served with the complaint. Joyce, a pharmacist and attorney from Poplar Grove, Ill., failed to serve Cruz, whose home address is listed in his petition to be placed on the state’s ballot, Langenstein said.
The issue of whether Cruz is a “natural-born” citizen has been raised by others, including rival GOP presidential contender Donald Trump, who has threatened to file a lawsuit on the issue. Cruz maintains he meets the criteria because his mother is American-born.
Judge Maureen Ward Kirby set a March 1 court date to hear arguments on the motion to dismiss. Joyce, who works the midnight shift at a hospital pharmacy, told the judge he wasn’t available for arguments before then because of work commitments. The Illinois primary is March 15 and early voting has already begun.
Despite the close timing, Joyce said it is worth letting his complaint play out.
“The nomination doesn’t take place until July,” Joyce said. “So if a determination is made after the primary that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president then certainly it would be incumbent upon the Republican National Committee not allow the name of Ted Cruz to be entered at the convention in July.”
Voters in Texas and New York also have filed legal challenges on whether Cruz meets the citizenship qualifications. The Indiana Board of Election is scheduled to hear a complaint Friday from a Republican voter challenging whether Cruz and fellow GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio meet the “natural-born” requirement. Rubio, whose parents immigrated from Cuba, was born in Florida.
Cruz has dismissed the efforts as “political mischief.”
He defended his citizenship and right to run at a CNN candidates’ forum Wednesday, saying he was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen, making him an automatic U.S citizen. His mother was born in Wilmington, Del., Cruz said.
“I never breathed a breath of air on this planet when I was not a U.S. citizen,” he said. “It was the act of being born that made me a U.S. citizen.”
After a sixth place finish in New Hampshire’s Republican primary on Tuesday, Chris Christie is calling it quits.
The New Jersey governor made the decision after conferring with major donors. He concluded that he did not have the financial support to continue his campaign, reports CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, citing a senior campaign source.
Christie spent significant campaign resources on the New Hampshire primary, wooing voters and banking on the state’s famous friendliness to governors running for the GOP nomination. Last week, Christie received plaudits for his debate takedown of rival Marco Rubio in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he slammed the Florida senator for his automaton-like answers to moderators’ questions.
But on Tuesday night, Christie finished with just single-digit support, behind Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Rubio. After a poor showing in Iowa, Christie is the only candidate left running who has so far accumulated zero delegates.
Christie addressed his backers at a primary night event in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Thanking volunteers and supporters, Christie said he did “not regret one minute” of the time spent in the early-voting state.
“I have both won elections that I was supposed to lose and I’ve lost elections I was supposed to win. And what that means is you never know and it’s both the magic and the mystery of politics – that you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do,” he said. “We leave New Hampshire tonight without an ounce of regret, not for the time we’ve spent, and for the thousands of people tonight in New Hampshire who will have voted for us. We thank each and every one of them.”
Of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Christie said he “deserves congratulations” for winning the support of Granite State voters.
Trump, for his part, told “CBS This Morning” that Christie had called to congratulate him, and said in an interview on Fox News, “Frankly, Chris is somebody that maybe wouldn’t have to get out. I think somebody like Jeb Bush has far less talent than Chris, and he’s still in so you know, it’s one of those things.”
The New Jersey Republican announced Tuesday that he would be heading back to his home state, instead of continuing on to campaign in South Carolina, the last primary state before March’s Super Tuesday contests.
Carly Fiorina is dropping out of the presidential race.
After a weak showing in New Hampshire last night, Fiorina becomes the second candidate, after Chris Christie, to bow out today.
Here’s the full statement she posted to Facebook:
This campaign was always about citizenship – taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected. Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I’ve said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I’m not going to start now. While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.
Our Republican Party must fight alongside these Americans as well. We must end crony capitalism by fighting the policies that allow it to flourish. We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.
To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you’re a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn’t shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.
As I have said to the many wonderful Americans I have met throughout this campaign, a leader is a servant whose highest calling is to unlock potential in others. I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential.
The high mucky-muck of the Republican establishment crowd, otherwise known as Dubya’s younger, less interesting brother.
Not since the failed candidacy of Howard Dean has an early front-runner in a Presidential race taken such a sustained beating in the polls. The once great, white hope of the Republican elitist class is now a single-digit joke whose big-money backers are starting to regret they ever laid eyes on this no-trick pony.
The radio host, turned minister, turned Governor, turned Presidential candidate, turned TV host, turned Presidential candidate again.
Why this man hasn’t started his own televangelist network by now is beyond me. He is clearly better suited to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on cable channel 287 than run for political office. At least as a TV pastor he’d be competitive in his chosen field of endeavor, instead of pointlessly clinging to his status as a second-tier political hack.
The Senator from Kentucky and middle child of former Congressman, libertarian Presidential candidate and prattling lunatic, Ron Paul.
Let’s face it, the only reason most people even know about this freshman lawmaker is because his father made a name for himself promoting pretty much the same policies that Rand has since adopted. Apparently, the nut doesn’t fall far from the nut-tree when it comes to blaming America for the rise of Muslim terrorism since the 1970s, and while the good doctor in question doesn’t seem nearly as crazy as his old man did when he ran for President, the things he says have just enough batshit mixed in with them to remind most of us why we’re not libertarians.
The morbidly obese Governor of New Jersey, former Obama rump-swab and RINO squish, otherwise known as El Jefe Grande.
He’s big, he’s fat and he’s loud. Okay, so he’d make a great Ralph Kramden if CBS ever decides to bring back ‘The Honeymooners’, but beyond that, he’s a waste of space… WAY too much space. Did I mention he’s really fat?
The former corporate CEO, failed Senatorial candidate and fake conservative, whose only claim to fame is that she managed to turn a largely destructive business career into a multi-million dollar personal fortune.
What can I say about this woman that Donald Trump hasn’t already said in far more entertaining and sexist terms before? Hmmm… well, for starters she’s the single most left-leaning candidate on the GOP debate stage, despite her well-rehearsed assertions to the contrary. In essence, she’s a would-be Susan Collins pretending to be the next Sarah Palin, only she doesn’t have the credibility or the gams of Mama Grizzly.
The extremely annoying Governor of Ohio, former Congressman, former TV host and snarky know-it-all, otherwise known as the guy who just won’t shut the fuck up already.
To say this man is irksome would be an insult to irks everywhere. I’d add more, but I’m too irritated by the very thought of this idiot to continue insulting him right now.
The former Congressman, former Senator and former Presidential candidate from Pennsylvania who can’t seem to understand why a sweater vest is not a viable substitute for charisma.
Ya know, there was a time when I honestly believed that Mr. Santorum would evolve into a credible, top-shelf candidate for President one day. That was over a decade ago, and now I’m convinced that – like stupid – you just can’t fix boring. The upside is that Mr. Rogers’ old job is still wide open.
The former Mayor of Peekskill, New York, former State Assemblyman, former State Senator and former Governor, who, despite being in politics since 1981 has yet to garner the name recognition of your average, small-town Comptroller.
Just the fact that this assclown has bothered to stay in the game longer than superior candidates like Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal makes me want to smack him over the head with a plastic snow shovel. Cripes, George, you’re not even gaining traction at the kiddie-table debates anymore. If you look in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Lindsey Graham right next to the word ‘pathetic’. Why? Because you’ve yet to rise to the level of pathetic. You are a catastrophic loser, George, yet you need not lament your absolute failure. After all, very few people have even noticed so far.
NOTE: It has just come to my attention that Lonesome George dropped out of the race last week. Gee, how could I have possibly missed that? (sarcasm off)