Republican US presidential candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump are emerging as sore losers after Ted Cruz, a US senator from Texas, won the Iowa caucuses, the first step in the party’s process of picking a nominee.
An aide for retired neurosurgeon Carson accused Cruz’s campaign of cheating to win the caucuses, while billionaire developer and reality television star Trump called for “a new election” or nullification of the results, Bloomberg reported.
Trump and the Carson camp both complained that Cruz campaign workers alerted voters to Carson’s decision to go home for a break after the caucuses, stoking speculation he would drop out.
Carson said Wednesday in Washington that the implication he was ready to drop out of the race affected the outcome in Iowa.
He was competing for the evangelical voters that propelled Cruz to victory in that state.
Trump was, as usual, less restrained in his comments.
“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” he wrote to his six million followers on Twitter.
“That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”
While Carson only indirectly criticized Cruz, his longtime adviser Armstrong Williams was blunt: “He cheated. Whether Trump calls it stealing, or we call it cheating — to us it’s the same.”
In another tweet, Trump said Cruz had lied about his opinion of President Barack Obama’s healthcare program, Reuters reported.
“And finally, Cruz strongly told thousands of caucus-goers that Trump was strongly in favor of ObamaCare and ‘choice’ — a total lie!” Trump said.
Cruz responded Wednesday afternoon to Trump’s Twitter rant.
“Yet another #Trumpertantrum,” Cruz wrote in a retweet of one of Trump’s posts. “@realDonaldTrump very angry w/the people of Iowa. They actually looked at his record.”
Meanwhile, the race moves to New Hampshire, where Trump leads and Cruz is in second place in many polls.
Carson came in a distant fourth in Iowa and falls to last among the remaining Republicans in most New Hampshire polls.
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